MARCEL LUCONT:GALLIC SYMBOL
Marcel Lucont :Gallic Symbol- Underbelly 10.25pm
Now this is a bit more like it! Most comedy this year has left me slightly flat but Marcel Lucont’s new show was-for the most part- an entertaining lesson in Gallic insouciance combined with arrogance , superiority and deadpan seriousness and was all the better for it.
Opening with a health and safety announcement informing us of what and what not to do-in almost abject opposition to what most would consider safe or healthy- the diminutive Frenchman with a big attitude then sleazes barefoot onto the stage with an insouciant shrug of the shoulders, a superior curl of his lip, and a dismissive flicker of the eyelids to launch into his opening chanson and statement of intent ‘I am Better than You’. He then runs the gamut of French cliché which never feels as if it is that very thing although it so very obviously is. Therefore the English-notably Scots seem to get off lightly- are criticised for their attitude toward protest-Occupy would never catch on in France apparently- and life in general. New Zealanders, Facebook and the British attitude to sex all come under the attack of his naturally inbred French superiority complex.
Never rushing or feeling hurried- he informs us at the shows opening when he appears half dazed and dishevelled after being roused from his bed- he maintains the same pace throughout with an air of supreme confidence which is as funny as his material and lends it further comedic effect. It is this appearing to neither care nor notice what the audience thinks which made tonight’s show such a success. The more he appeared to disparage and put us down the more we loved him for it.
The only section which was a bit of a non-starter was the one wherein he adopted a bad English accent to tell a selection of particularly bad jokes. This part of the show went on far too long and felt out of place with the rest of the act. He obviously has strong material and I don’t understand why he felt the need to incorporate this section which actually was clichéd and verging on the insipid.
Once this impasse was over it was then onto a hilarious section in which he informed us how we were going wrong in the sexual department compared to his superior French lover’s skills. The night rounded off with am amusing French rap style chanson and then that was it bar a hilarious film of our French hero skydiving.
This show is a vast improvement on Lucont’s effort last year. It was hilarious in parts and he made it all seem so effortless. Aside from the middle section, where he lost his way slightly, it was a highly consistent production which never struggled to raise laughs or hold his audience’s attention.