This is the first non-music event I’ve covered since I started writing reviews in February but when I was asked what shows I fancied attending for Perth Festival, Marcus Brigstocke really appealed to me. I’d seen him on Have I Got News For You and listened to him presenting I’ve Never Seen Star Wars on Radio 4 (yeah I listen to Radio 4, I’m delightfully middle-class!) and he struck me as a funny and insightful guy. However, I have to admit that it was the pun in the show’s title that really grabbed me. I can’t resist a good pun, if it was up to me every article on the Small City website would have a pun heavy headline. Unfortunately/luckily it’s not up to me.
It turns out that the Long Face of the title is both literally and metaphorical. There’s no two ways about it, Marcus Brigstocke literally has a long face. He can do a passable impression of both the Easter Island Statue and, without his glasses, Tweeter from The Muppets. If you put a gun to my head and forced me to come up with and adjective to describe his face I’d probably go with “protracted”.
The long face of the title also refers to Mr. Brigstocke’s unhappiness with the political goings on of the last couple of years and he uses the first half of the show to vent to great comic effect. This mild rant takes in his frustration with Brexit, the resurgence of the Tories and the fact that there is now a “perverted orange oompah loompah” in the Whitehouse. He also talks about Boris Johnson’s appointment as Foreign Secretary, who he says even took Prince Phillip aback causing him to remark “Are you sure? He’s quite racist!” This in turn prompts a pretty good Barack Obama impression.
After the interval, things lighten up a bit and Marcus does a wee bit of audience participation asking, “Who is happier now than they’ve ever been?” The Perth audience is on really good form. One man is particularly happy because he had mint choc chip ice-cream at half-time. When asked if he could have anyone in the world feed him mint choc chip ice-cream, he replies without any hesitation “Scarlett Johansen”. Another guy is really happy because he does paintings of bears and one lady is celebrating the anniversary of her organ transplant. A young lady was happy a while ago but now… not so much. “Why’s that?” Marcus asks. “Because my boyfriend said he wants Scarlett Johansen to feed him ice-cream.”
The show ends with Marcus putting Purple Rain on his portable record player breaking out his cheeseboard and getting naked from the waist down and tucking in. He covers his modesty with the sleeve of “Velvet Underground and Nico” and feeds cheese to the front row. It’s a fitting if slightly surreal end to an evening of cracking comedy. Although I have to admit that when the grapes fell off the cheeseboard, I was glad he didn’t bend over to pick them up!
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