Pointless Anger, Righteous Ire – Review

Published On January 16, 2014 | By Amy Holtz | Theatre & Arts Reviews & Previews

Upstairs at the Three and Ten
Tuesday 14th January 2014

Robin Ince and Michael Legge are just two comedians, standing front of a crowd, asking them to get angry. Preferably about things they have material for. Not things like, as one intrepid audience member suggested, cheap knicker elastic.

The format, if it could be called that, is an amorphous blob of call and response, tangent relishing blather – but no one ever said laughs required a flow chart. What laughs do require, particularly in Pointless Anger, Righteous Ire’s brand of improv, is a quirky audience. Last night’s crowd was saturated with exhibitionist wanna-be comedians (because really, everyone secretly thinks the job is cake) – and this, truthfully, is something that stokes the flaming core of my blackened, rage-filled heart. You remember that girl that always, always raised her hand when the teacher asked a question while you cowered in the back row, picking your nose and drawing triangles? Well, she was there. And all of her friends.

But for the most part, this predictable comedy club trope, where comedians feed off of our stupid (though we’d say ‘witty’ and ‘insightful’) rejoinders was well managed. And, perhaps because Brightonians are, for the most part, hyper-aware of their own liberal, meta tendencies – this trope took on a whole new dimension. It was like starring in a play where we all say really Brightonesque things, which Ince riffs off, and then we all laugh at our own cleverness. And at Legge’s apparent uncleverness. Which is a great way to spend an evening.

There was a sweet, but laugh-halting showcase by their friend, Martin Rossiter, who was a good sport despite being sandwiched between two halves of ranting, much like I’m sandwiching in this paragraph. Jolting, isn’t it? It all went a bit Club Silencio (reference that, Robin). If I were Martin, I’d disown the pair.

Still, these two experienced crowd cowboys were dab hands at herding the masses into a unified, vocal hatred of nice kids, ticket-printing fees and mean elderly people. This is smart comedy using a time-honoured formuladial into people’s rage and plumb a mine of funny, perceptive material. Particularly of the organic quinoa, Bag for Life-toting, Nick Cave-spotting variety.

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About The Writer

I'm not from around here... Likes: The library, adjectives and adverbs (see above), sugar and my Specialized. Dislikes: When the other Amy Holtz's daughter, in Philadelphia, emails me for a lift home. And most buskers in the North Laines.