Thursday, March 10, 2011

Death of a Badger

Last night I watched Craig Campbell's Death of a Badger, a DVD put out by Go Faster Stripe, a compact little organisation out of Cardiff that have ended up archiving the acts of more esoteric comedians like Richard Herring and Will Hodgson.

Previously they've all been filmed in the Chapel Arts Centre in Cardiff, whereas this was shot at Up The Creek in London; the video starts with footage from Craig's motorcycle, hurtling down the road, before he bounds onto stage.

He's a Canadian living in England, so he brings an outsider's perspective to the country I grew up in (British attitudes to bad weather vs Canadian ones), and he's also wearing a pair of enormous leathery trousers with threatening bulges. These vanish part way through the set, to be replaced by a pair of shorts, like a strange performance art piece. The kind where a man takes another man's trousers off, and then installs a microphone in his back pocket.

It wasn't as aggressive as the Brendon Burns performance I saw last year, but a lot more effing and blinding than other comedians I've watched recently. After a while that becomes just another bit of phrasing rather than a pressure jet of obscenity.

There's some great stuff about the best way to freeze to death, and saunas, and the stoic insanity of the British when faced with anything out of the ordinary. Towards the end of the set it feels as though he's flagging a little, but that's after an hour and a half of him throwing shapes and bouncing ballistically around the stage.

Disappointingly, I didn't get to listen to a three hour monologue about badgers dying, so it's not as if the DVD did exactly what the title suggests. Not like Somebody Likes Yoghurt and its 45 minute-yoghurt extravaganza. Maybe it's hidden on a special extra.

The audience laugh quite a lot, but were still a little quiet - perhaps because it was filmed on a Sunday when everyone was hungover from the night before - I guess I'm spoiled from seeing so much live comedy in the claustrophobic confines of a Hong Kong basement - but as you don't often get the chance to see enormous Canadian men yelling about the British motorway system, it's certainly twelve pounds well spent.


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