Outside The Box
Lantern Theatre, Liverpool
BY LEWIS CALVERT
Brendon Burns started understandably sceptical at his first gig back in Liverpool since receiving death threats over five years ago.
The 50 or so punters were clearly on his side from the off with Burns phoning his wife whist on stage just to let her know he would be safe.
His fan base may not be huge, but it is fiercely loyal.
He compliments his comedy-savvy audience for finding the intimate setting of the Lantern Theatre and comedy-savvy they were, guffawing at jibes towards Dave Gorman, Russell Brand and Stewart Lee.
The audiences were both amused and offended at cancer and rape gags with Burns admittedly revelling in the awkwardness of the few jokes that didn’t go down well.
But the experienced Aussie also tackled subjects like; politics, religion, race and sexism with empathy and compassion, getting big laughs in the process.
His passionately aggressive tirades on hand too showing the variety of his act, which is not so much an “act” per se.
There is nothing disingenuous about his performance, there is no fourth wall, he is a comic so acutely self-aware he confesses everything from his delusions of grandeur to perceived lack of success, which only endears him to the audience.
Outside The Box comes to a close with a 20 minute Arnold Schwarzenegger impression. Which sounds dated but, is very funny. And “Arnold” explains exactly why it is.
In a kind of encore for his live podcast, he explained the furore surrounding his death threats, listing a bunch of anti-jokes about Scousers having no sense of humour. Which the crowd found hilarious.
And as his Arnold character says: “Argh! Come on! It’s funny. It’s a juxtaposition.”
With that The 41-year-old wrapped up an thoroughly impressive one man show saying: “I should of done this years ago”.
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