Comedy masterclass

Quite an evening. My review of Bill Burr’s show in Bristol:

Sometimes there is a fine line between being a world-class stand-up and one of those taxi drivers who won’t stop ranting into the rear-view mirror. Part of the joy of this exhilarating display was never quite knowing when Bill Burr was being cantankerous or just toying with his audience’s prejudices.

The American comedian was given an ecstatic reception when he arrived on stage. Yet in this marathon performance there were passages, especially when he talked about race or feminism, when some fans wondered if that brash everyman persona had gone a step too far. The shaven-headed fella with the ripe Boston accent might almost have been morphing into Donald Trump.

“Is it the Aryan haircut not making you want to come along with me?” asked Burr, sensing a ripple of unease. Undaunted, he plunged ahead, presenting himself as a liberal who has the contrarian urge to question every liberal preconception. Donning the mask of the confused, beer-drinking heterosexual, he stumbled around, trying to make sense of the world.

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Chief theatre critic for The Times. Twitter: CliveDavisUK Facebook: Instagram: clivephotos
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