Russell Brand at the Hammersmith Apollo
The enigmatic Russell Brand brought his Messiah Complex world tour to the Hammersmith Apollo this week, thrilling his audience with this fantastic new show. Though well-known for his acts that focus heavily on his life of drugs and promiscuity, this one is a brilliant blend of the old, cheeky Brand and a newer, more intellectual style of comedy.
Brand criticises the lack of proper heroes in our modern society, and the bastardisation of heroism in the media. As the audience enters they encounter a huge multimedia screen, displaying an image of Brand reminiscent of Nazi propaganda posters from World War Two. They are already buzzing and excited, and this only piques their curiosity: Brand’s reputation is as an egotistical womaniser, not a political satirist. The suspense grows as they wonder where on earth this show will take them.
Brand struts onto the stage with all the expected bravado and charm, the audience reassured and delighted that he is still the same. Nevertheless, this show is very different to what we have seen before. The focus is no longer on just sex and drugs – this is more an intellectual discussion between Brand and the audience. He is confident and eloquent as he launches into a critical deconstruction of current politics and ideology. In this show he explores almost every facet of modern society: politics, government, mortality, morality and the power of the media to name a few of his angles.
Incredibly, if none of these topics interested you, this show would still be hysterical. Brand works his contrasts perfectly, swinging from egomania to self-depreciation, and switching from existentialism to slapstick like lightning.
Brand is fast-paced, focused and buzzing with energy throughout this entire (almost two-hour) performance. He keeps the audience in hysterics and accepts a well-earned standing ovation at the end. Despite the highly intellectual subject matter, the audience won’t forget that this is comedy. Their aching sides won’t let them.
Messiah Complex is touring until 6th April 2014. For further information or to book visit the show’s website here.
Watch the trailer for Messiah Complex here: