Comedian Richard Gadd Puts The Pun Into Punk

By Stuart Black Last edited 26 months ago
Comedian Richard Gadd Puts The Pun Into Punk

There's a distinct buzz about Richard Gadd at the moment — though the Scottish comedian's work is so deliriously dark and dirty it's a buzz akin to horse flies circling round an eight week old corpse in the attic.

Those who saw his blistering new show Waiting For Gaddot at the Edinburgh Fringe already know its secrets and, while we don't want to give any away, we can tell you that we witnessed grown reviewers stumbling out onto the chip-strewn cobbles outside the subterranean bear-pit where he was playing, practically speechless at the man's audacity.

Now he comes to Soho Theatre for 10 days, where he's already made an impression with two self-flagellating shows last year. Cheese And Crackwhores saw him dissect a relationship gone wrong before trying to comes to terms with the great nothingness of (his) life. Then a few months later he was back with Breaking Gadd, in which he underwent regression therapy to find out who knocked him unconscious, what they did to him and why (sometimes it's better not to know). Both shows saw high concepts meet high anxiety with bad sex, drugs and constant humiliation thrown into their interactive presentations of a comedian on the edge.

And now with Waiting For Gaddot, he's gone over that edge. No-one takes dodgy wordplay quite so far — or crunchy, blood-spattered slapstick — or po-mo multimedia madness.

Gadd was our pick of the Edinburgh Fringe and it was no surprise that he won the Amused Moose Comedy Award for best show. Impressively he was also overlooked for the main fringe prizes with the rumour being that his show was just too unconventional for the panel. At least one judge is said to have entirely missed the premise complaining of the very thing that the title suggests. Of course being snubbed by the mainstream is probably a higher accolade for someone with Gadd's alternative leanings.

The new show also features fellow comics Ben Taggart and Ian Smith in sly side-roles as well as TV royalty Lesley Joseph (via video) as his joyously slutty mum. The precisely-controlled chaos  is artfully directed by the peerless Gary Reich who previously helped nurture Sasha Baron Cohen and The Mighty Boosh and also directs Kim Noble. We think he's spotted another big star here. You don't want to wait for this show, grab your ticket now.

Waiting For Gaddot plays at the Soho Theatre from 27 October to 7 November. Tickets £15/12.50

Last Updated 28 October 2015