Craig Campbell - Live Review

Whilst the show isn't perfect, Campbell is a likable presence, full of bluster and joy, and he's clearly overwhelmed with how things have gone for him and how much love the audience give him tonight.

rating: 3

Canada-born Devon-based comedian Craig Campbell's show is a curious mix. Campbell, like many comedians, begins by interacting with the audience, deliberately picking on late-comers and scouring the audience for people who have come from far and wide to see the show. Oddly though this interaction continues throughout almost all of the performance, occasionally it manages to launch Campbell into one of his routines, there's an old bit about being on mushrooms and talking to the police and some tales of going cycling and looking like a fool in front of some cool kids. But it doesn't quite stitch together with the audience banter and often the show would benefit from a stronger throughline and less interaction. Having said that, Campbell's style is very personable, his stories aren't so much bits of carefully crafted stand-up but rather simple anecdotes about the odd situations he's wound up. Particular highlights include winding up guzzling duty free Baileys in an airport lounge after being told it can't be taken through customs and a mugging in which Campbell manages to recover his friend's stolen wallet whilst still holding a plate of vine leaves. The show reaches its peak (rather aptly) with a story about mountain climbing, there's a bittersweet note to the tale as it caused a friendship to end, but the pay off of this story is so utterly splutteringly hilarious that it almost seems worthwhile! Whilst the show isn't perfect, Campbell is a likable presence, full of bluster and joy, and he's clearly overwhelmed with how things have gone for him and how much love the audience give him tonight. The Bloomsbury is a peculiar venue for Campbell, his style would feel better suited to smaller and more intimate venues, he's a great storyteller, but some of the warmth gets a little lost in this mid-sized theatre. Craig Campbell is touring the UK at present see: http://www.craigcampbell.info/ for details.
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Owain Paciuszko hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.