Support for the evening was provided by Rob Rouse, who used his genial, everyman persona to lull the audience into a false sense of security before his routine descended into a whirlwind of toilet humour, gender politics, sheepdogs, and Brexit. Despite a slightly apprehensive audience, Rob’s increasingly rude and raucous performance was heightened by some dynamic physical flourishes and an increasingly cerebral subtext, culminating in uproarious laughter.
After a short interval we were greeted by our devilish main act: the lord of darkness himself. Due to unforeseen circumstances Marcus had been replaced by Satan, but fortunately for those audience members hoping for a loud, sardonic diatribe that pokes ironic fun at the same middle class demographic that it panders to, it would appear that the Devil shares many of Brigstocke’s political and social views, and has slightly better comic timing.
The audience initially struggled with the spectacle of Brigstocke’s devilish outfit, but after a few well-crafted jokes and a couple of inspired audience exchanges the comedian eventually found his fire, and then promptly burnt himself. Unlike Rouse's, Brigstocke’s humour depends on concentration, and many of his jokes are designed to be missed by the masses, but therein lies the appeal of his humour. Beneath the spiky wit and classical allusions there is an emotional warmth and a moral purpose that anchors his patter. While at many times throughout the evening, we, the audience may have felt judged, or mocked, it is in the same way that one may feel after being mercilessly mocked by a good friend.
There is something cathartic about having the pomposity of one’s views exposed, even if the critique itself is equally pompous, but by inhabiting Lucifer, Brigstocke has sidestepped the confrontational nature of this approach. By pouring scorn on easy targets such as Boris, Theresa, Jeremy and Donald, while also reclassifying numerous mundane millennial behaviours as mortal sins, Brigstocke has successfully mined his sympathy for the devil (a reference I’m sure he would appreciate) in order to present a thought provoking perspective on these crazy times. More importantly, though, he made us all laugh - a lot. And from a selfish view, that’s all that really matters.