Review by Graham Finney
Whether it’s a film plot, a TV show or, in the case of Marcus Brigstocke, a comedy show, it’s always good when someone throws you a curveball. Stepping outside the box, Brigstocke delivers his social commentary dressed as Lucifer for his latest show, Devil May Care, and he certainly delivers a show that keeps you on your toes.
Ahead of the arrival of the Prince Of Darkness to deliver his unholy sermons, Rob Rouse warms the crowd up with awkward tales of life as a middle-aged man. From uncovering long forgotten sex toys to embarrassing rectal exams performed by his doctor/neighbour/five-a-side teammate to the perils of parenting young children, you get the feeling that Rouse is dying a little inside every time he opens up about life as a middle-aged man. Thankfully for Rouse, given that a good percentage of the audiences on this tour are likely to be of a similar age, he can take some comfort from the knowledge that we’re all cringing along with him.
Side-stepping traditional “stand-up” for his latest show, Brigstocke appears on stage dressed as Lucifer to the sound of confused applause. “Hell, he’s really going for it, I thought it was just for the poster..” the horn-wearing comic mocks as the audience in Leeds takes in the sight before them. Part character-based, part stand-up, Devil May Care sees Brigstocke exploring the subject of sin and how, given that the bar is being set increasingly low, Hell is rapidly becoming full of shit people.
Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of subjects from the Dark Lord to pick from with the usual suspects – Brexit, religion, politics, pornography and homosexuality – all making an appearance as Brigstocke explores how we’ve devolved to the point where you can get yourself into Hell these days for just doing something “a little bit bad”.
Midway through the show Brigstocke handles a disruptive audience member with the kind of professionalism that comes from twenty-odd years in the game, joking “well, this is tense”, before returning to character without breaking sweat.
Given the subject matter, there are moments throughout the show where Brigstocke causes plenty of uncomfortable shuffling in seats like asking a teenager about pornography in front of his parents but, these are matched with plenty of laugh out loud moments. When going through some of the bigger names in hell, Harvey Weinstein, Harold Shipman and Jimmy Saville, Lucifer explains how it’s becoming increasingly difficult to decide given that the horror of their atrocities is usually evened out by enormous acts of kindness. In the end, the show concludes with Lucifer explaining how, given a bit more tolerance and kindness, the human race wouldn’t be queuing up for a spot alongside him in Hell.
Devil May Care sees Brigstocke stepping outside the box and doing something a bit different to the usual comedy norm and, as is probably the intention, it’s a show that makes you think as much as it does laugh out loud. The show will be touring for the remainder of the year, so, unless you want to join the queue of people spending an eternity in the flames of hell, make sure you get a ticket for this intriguing and funny show.