Marcus Brigstocke: Je M’accuse at the Soho
Turning away from his usual political discourse, Marcus Brigstocke last night delivered a more confessional, lighter brand of humour. Although characteristically self-deprecating, Je M’accuse is silly, intellectual and honest, and in Brigstocke’s own words: “Just me pissing about.”
After a shaky first ten minutes, Brigstocke went on to flaunt his disregard for those who find his humour politically incorrect. He ran seamlessly through a range of dialects, sometimes goading the audience into naming what exactly is offensive about imitating an accent. This set the scene for the rest of the performance: seemingly frivolous jokes with an aftertaste of intellect arriving not far behind.
Of course, a Brigstocke show would not be a Brigstocke show without some mention of politics, and at one point he breaks from comedy to remind us of the need to hold on to our NHS. The comedian’s conviction and the succinctness of the message made up for the comment’s lack of affinity with the rest of the night’s material.
Brigstocke is clearly not adverse to poking fun at himself, at one point amusing us with an account of having his testicles examined by a parent from the playground. These confessions continue as he speaks about more difficult subject matters, such as the eating disorder he has suffered with throughout his life. While it is laudable to delve into such a topic, it is always going to be difficult for a comedian to find the balance between funny and awkward. The rawness of this subject for Brigstocke occasionally came through the humour, tipping the scales into the awkward category.
Je M’accuse doesn’t profoundly delve into any subject as it skates through tales from Brigstocke’s day-to-day life. This is by no means a criticism. These stories do not seem carefully concocted to get the best laughs; instead they seem open and honest, making the audience warm to Brigstocke as a madcap raconteur. From accounts of his days as an obese goth to weird dance routines on an oil rig, Brigstocke has created a show that, although sometimes slightly clumsy, is loveable and fun.
Marcus Brigstocke: Je M’accuse is at Soho Theatre until 24th May 2014. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.
Watch Alex Belfield interview Marcus Brigstocke here: