Monday, November 27, 2006

Stage Presence #8

“Characterful” by Adam Hills
The Tobacco Factory, Bristol, 19/11/2006

As he ambles cheerfully onstage, the immediate impression of Aussie Adam Hills is that he’s a bloody friendly bloke and – judging by the resounding welcome – well loved. Hills engages with members of the audience from the outset, encouraging and including their humorous input, rather than extracting it at their expense. As the title suggests, Hills’ show focuses on his preceived lack of character in contemporary society, skillfully creating a stand-up performance that that this full of it, whether through personal anecdotes, political commentary or frequent audience participation.

Adam Hills’ style could be described as gentle or easy going, but don’t confuse this with unchallenging, safe or boring; Hills is laconic without being laidback, insightful without being spiteful. How many comedians have you seen display their artificial foot as a prelude to a hilarious true story about applying for a drivign licence, or encourage a theatre full of people to engage in a bout of “tummy drumming”? After two hours’ consistently entertaining stand up, it was easy to believe Adam Hills’ expressions of disappointment that it was time to go home. I felt the same way.

Adam Hills website

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