First-off, Reginald D. Hunter already automatically fulfils one promise from his very flashy poster: He speaks in a wonderfully deep, full-throated voice, a joy to listen to. Apart from this lucky, natural state, the “adventure” could have been a bit more adventurous. With all appreciation for his genuine sharing of personal experience packed into cynical anecdotes, paired with a gratitude that some of his jokes bare some vital truth (such as a mere impossibility “for a [n-word] to be shot in a country where the police don’t carry firearms.”) and still, I cannot ignore a certain lack of fire – assimilation to British culture gone wrong?
Even if told with a sharp tongue, the audience is still confronted with a range of often-heard-before themes, prevalent especially in American culture and arts, that I absolutely believe to be valid, but simply – sadly – neither surprising, nor new. I might be heavily blinded by a Eurocentric perception, but what was probably the most interesting part of the show is a reflection on European fairy tales, that showed both in-depth knowledge and seemed made for an audience that might (hopefully) be somewhat international, but still largely European. It was a jolly little detour into the woods of folklore, a fresh perspective on Goldilocks’ bears’ middle-class household and simply some unbearable, hence effective, puns.
Other than that, I would have wished for more criticism (necrophilia and mild sexism did not quite suffice to make me feel offended, even though I was promised to be), some more reflection and a better observation of cultural aspects that Reg D. Hunter broaches, but simply fails to butcher. That a Dutch woman’s accent has a Germanic sound to it that may resemble Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Austro-Californian twang seems likely for an untrained ear but feels a little too much like mocking a Brazilian’s Spanish accent – just a little off and shallow. Having said that, I am sure that there would have been a fitting Dutch person to make fun of and for said European audience, they would not even have to have starred in any Hollywood movies to be recognized in a reference.
Altogether, nice sound-effects (yes, the voice), good atmosphere, but never quite reaching the deep end – a solid show if you are into mellow chuckles instead of waves of laughter and tears of joy.
You can see Reginald D. Hunter on Aug 11-12, 14-18, 20-25 at 09:40pm in Pleasance Courtcard – the Grand.