REVIEW: Russell Kane @ Tyne Theatre & Opera House
Posted on May 25th 2017 by Whats on Northeast
Words: Sophie Smith for Cuckoo Review
Russell Kane’s Right Age, Wrong Man tour takes us through Kane’s life and what changed him from the little feminine boy he was to the man he is now. It’s witty, energetic and filled with funny anecdotes from all stages of his life.
The show is split in two halves: the first half focuses on his life as a child, his strained relationship with his hyper-masculine father and how his father copes with finding him fake tanning himself in a paper thong, earning him the nickname ‘Gaytan’. The first half sets the comedic tone for the rest of the evening, and it’s all a journey to the real thing that made him a man: the birth of his daughter.
Kane’s got the crowd in his hand. His Geordie impressions are a hit with the Newcastle crowd, and his engagement with the audience was great. Not even I could remember the names of all the people he spoke to, yet he did. He focused on the couples in the crowd as well as the youngest audience member, Brandon, and his decision (which he has now learned was a mistake) to come to a comedy gig and sit in the front row with his mother. This became a running gag throughout as Russell aims to teach him a few life lessons before he grows up. The comedy would probably feel most topical if you were at the same stage of life as Kane: a couple with a young child. But you don’t have to be. You’ll still find this show funny no matter what age you are; myself and my friend were 17 and 18, yet still thoroughly enjoyed every minute.
In the second half of the show, it takes a more warm and serious tone through the complicated birth of his child. He tells us of his relationship with his wife and how he has had a rocky maturity through the years. He shows us the fears and laughs that you don’t see on the surface; such as walking into the hospital with an empty car seat waiting to pick up your first child, or the body image nerves as you’re told to cut the cord. If you want tips on how to cope with the fears of fatherhood, or why not to wear fake tan when you first hold your child bare-chested (don’t worry, it’s not jaundice), then it’s an extremely useful show.
At this stage in Kane’s life, it’s all about family. Now he’s married, he talks about the moments families all come together. His explanations of the different characters in his family are comedy genius: the character who can style out an accidental fart, the kind do-anything-for-you ones and the ones who like to clean a lot. It’s all topped off with the image of them playing Articulate at Christmas, and the hilarious acting out of the word bustard.
The tales of Kane becoming a father bring a tear to your eye, much as it did for him. You can tell that his baby daughter (otherwise known as the milk slug) has matured him well and created great content for his shows. He seems to have taken to fatherhood perfectly.
This review originally appeared on Cuckoo Review, a site dedicating to developing the skills of young writers in partnership with venues across the North East. For more reviews from young writers, visit the Cuckoo Review website.