An electrifying comedy show, which culminates in an infectious celebration of Americana and a hilarious, foot-stomping hoedown, will soon take to the stage at the Marina Theatre.
Rich Hall’s Hoedown can be enjoyed at 8pm on Friday, June 15.
This Hoedown tour begins as a withering dissection of Trump’s America and all of its twists and turns, but ends up in a celebration of Americana. There’s stand-up, improvised ballads, cracking good musicianship, and ultimately a hilarious, foot-stomping, shit-kicking good time to be had by all. Even if you don’t own a hoe.
Chatting to us during a hiatus in the tour, Rich proves a richly entertaining interviewee.
Even though he is widely loved by British audiences, the modest Rich can scarcely believe how well this tour has gone. “The response has been astounding,” reveals the comic, who was also enjoyed huge acclaim and won the Perrier Award at the 2000 Edinburgh Festival as his bourbon-soaked, country and western-singing Tennessean alter ego, Otis Lee Crenshaw.
“I’m enjoying doing this particular show so much. The reaction has been very rousing. People come up to me afterwards and say, ‘I’d seen you on TV, but I didn’t realise you were this funny’. That’s the most satisfying response. At the risk of turning into the Willie Nelson of comedy, I don’t want to stop doing this show!”
The critics have been equally enthusiastic about “Rich Hall’s Hoedown”. The Guardian called it, “Blissfully funny,” while The Scotsman declares that it is, “As close as it gets to a guaranteed good show.”
Rich has had an enormously successful TV career, shining in such comedy shows as QI, Have I Got News For You, Live at the Apollo and Never Mind the Buzzcocks, as well as producing such lauded documentaries as Rich Hall’s Countrier Than You, Rich Hall’s Presidential Grudge Match, Rich Hall’s Cattle Drive, Rich Hall’s Gone Fishing and Otis Lee Crenshaw – London Not Tennessee. Rich’s newest documentary is due for release in the coming months.
“On shows like QI or Have I Got News For You, you’re just part the process, and next week someone else will be on,” he added.
“You try and keep your head above water on those programmes, but after they are finished, viewers just wonder what’s on next. A panel show is a commodity, and people have forgotten it half an hour later.”
However, Rich carries on, “If you have gone out of your way to go to a live show and spent two and a half hours in the theatre, chances are you’ll be talking about it on the way home.
“It’s no different from going to live music. Watching a musician live is a completely different experience from listening to his song on the radio. You have more of an artistic and emotional investment in the live performance. That’s what I love about it.”
So what can audiences expect from “Rich Hall’s Hoedown”? The first half of the show is an examination of the catastrophe President Trump is wreaking on the world on a daily basis. The comedian jokes that, “I love the fact that Trump is President. It’s great for comedy, even though it’s dreadful for the rest of the world and humankind!
“But people expect me to talk about it. You can’t avoid talking about Trump because he infiltrates every part of our world like a weevil. He’s like an egg sac which has bored into every aspect of our lives.”
Rich says he has to be fleet of foot when tackling the subject of Trump. “My material keeps changing because the guy changes every day on a whim. No Trump joke has any shelf life at all. It’s good for three hours – then it’s out the window. Jokes about the wall, for instance, are so last year. But at least it keeps you on your toes.”
The second half of “Rich Hall’s Hoedown” is a riotous tribute to the delights of Americana. With his excellent band, the comedian performs 10 to 12 songs, many of which he improvises, using material he has gleaned from the audience in the first half.
Rich laughs that, “The people in the front row realise that they will be targets, but they will also be serenaded. I like to find a couple who have been married for a long time and write a song about how they first met.
“You have to keep your mind open to improvise. The best moments come when the audience say to themselves, ‘I didn’t see that coming.’ You paint yourself into such a corner that the audience think, ‘How is he ever going to get out of that?’ And then you escape. It’s a real challenge, but that’s what makes it funny.”
The comedian admits that, “Sometimes I stumble, but that can be funnier than when you nail it. It’s very disposable material. It’s funny in the moment, but you can’t do it tomorrow.”
Rich was talking to James Rampton.
Tickets for the show are priced at £17.75 and are suitable for people over the age of 14.
To book, call 01502 533200 or CLICK HERE.