REVIEW: Rich Hall at Kings Theatre Southsea

Rich Hall
Rich Hall
Matt Jones as Rudyard Kipling and Lynn Pegler as his wife Carrie.

Playwright brings Kipling’s story back to Hampshire

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He’d expected a Polynesian paradise, but Rich Hall was more than happy to make do with Southsea.

The American comic, with the rubbery face of bar boss Mo from The Simpsons, rocked the Kings with laughter in a two-hour set of stellar proportions.

If you’ve seen him on TV, on QI or Live at the Apollo, you will have glimpsed only a tiny fraction of his towering talent.

He formed an instant, friendly rapport with his near full-house crowd, with musings on everything from online gambling to US politics and from the British press to gun laws and the joys of shopping in Primark.

His razor-sharp wit knew no bounds as he piled absurdity on absurdity, simile on simile and gag upon gag, making me laugh until tears rolled down my cheeks, particularly during a rant about the horsemeat scandal.

He also demonstrated considerable talent on guitar, gleaning interesting facts from audience members and weaving them into uniquely improvised songs.

He even attempted to engineer his own happy ending for the show by matchmaking for one shy couple, finally producing an engagement ring... sadly, to no avail.

Rich is a one-off, a true original, and, while he is a treat on TV, he demands to be seen in the flesh, just for the sheer joy of the laughter he brings.