Venue: Grand Opera House, York.
Rating: Five stars
Saturday night at the Grand Opera House played host to Kevin Bridges’ ‘The Story Continues’ tour, where the Glaswegian’s slightly-rough-round-the-edges, bitter Scottish humour gave a fantastic showing for British comedy.
Bridges’ support for the tour, the Australian Damien Clarke, shouldn’t go without mention. His energetic show warmed up the crowd well. His material was crude and a bit childish a lot of the time, including the standard Australian jokes at the expense of New Zealanders. Interestingly, his side-jokes and improvisation worked a lot better, and he closed with a hilarious breakdown of Fifty Shades of Grey which I’m sure any lit student would be proud of.
However the huge applause that greeted Bridges’ entrance set the tone for the evening; the laughs flowed effortlessly. The opening of his show was politically orientated, as he made clear his thoughts on the coalition government. This included a brilliant picking-apart of the policy of giving the unemployed in the UK unpaid jobs to boost their self-esteem, where Bridges quite rightly pointed out that self-esteem is not legal tender in the UK. His intelligent political material was well executed, especially when you consider that Bridges is still young. Only 26, he behaves on stage like a man twice his age. This is especially true when you consider that the seemingly youthful, highly eccentric Russell Kane is 30. Bridges presents current, political issues brilliantly; another topic included the hardships of Glasgow Rangers, who apparently owe 40 quid to a face painter.
As his set moved on, Bridges’ material became progressively more crude. But everything still landed just as well with the audience. He constructed his jokes brilliantly, never drawing them out for too long (which Clarke was guilty of at times). The Glaswegian’s more rough and ready humour worked just as well as his earlier material, including a hilarious story of when his mate brought round a copy of ‘Anal Pandemonium 5’. Bridges’ interactions with the audience were also very entertaining, a highlight being the ‘cougar in the dark’ who picked up on the alternative implications of the ‘double-dip’ recession. The York audience didn’t give him a huge amount to work with, and a couple of times the show fell slightly flat when he didn’t get much of a response to one of his questions. However this was very short lived and happened only once or twice.
Overall, Bridges’ bitter and innovative view on the world provided a hugely entertaining evening that kept the audience laughing from start to finish. Though his tour only has dates in Scotland remaining, the Scotsman is definitely worth a watch for an example of first class stand up.