1 August 2007

Rhod Gilbert - Who's Eaten Gilbert Grape?

I tried to explain to a friend of mine about Rhod's style before we went in to our first show of 2007 and Rhod's third time in Edinburgh. The best I could come up with was dead-pan but that's not right as he does have lots of energy. Rhod put it best himself when he said "I don't do comedy, I do misery". The reason he's at the Comedy Festival is that there are no Misery Festivals. The problem with Rhod's dark and miserable look at the world and 'his' life is that it's painfully funny! He starts of talking about Wales and the Welsh language and after a couple of really great jokes (someone died in his Welsh class trying to pronounce things and he swallowed his tongue) he tells us early on that he has a tendency to make things up. This show however, is about the similarities between his recent life and the film, What's Eating Gilbert Grape. There was a little bit of a lull in the middle but I think that was mainly due to the girls in the front row that seemed to have all the answers to his questions (who has an older dog, whose parents divorced at a younger age etc) and it just got a little repetitive talking to the same pair (not really Rhod's fault if no-one else had the necessary story to interact with). We follow on this journey and go through parts of Rhod's past up to last year when he finally me his one true love, in a similar way to the other Gilbert. There's joke to left the audience completely silent for one, maybe two seconds until a couple of quick people actually got it and a large wave of laughter and applause bounced around the room (those are my favourite moments of any show). His journey culminates in the shocking realisation about his penis (the fact that it's older than Sydney Opera House being one) and up to the birth of his first child and an epiphany of true happiness and potential. Maybe at the very end of the show do you get a slight glimpse of the true Rhod Gilbert but by then you're too busy having your mind messed with to full notice. A great performance with really good material - possibily a nominee for the IF Comedies Award. Four leeks out of five - Make sure you catch him!