WHY CAN’T baking potatoes be sold separately? And what kind of skill does it take, exactly, to become a “travelling chef”? All these questions and more were posed, examined and berated, though never answered, of course, by Rhod Gilbert, at The Dome, Brighton, on Monday (July 9).
Rhod started his latest show, The Man With the Flaming Battenburg Tattoo, by telling the packed auditorium that he’d changed: he had dealt with his issues, he’d been to anger management.
What followed was a story, the story of how his life had changed since getting ink just to prove a point: that tattoos were pointless.
That move had brought him to the conclusion that he was, indeed, a very petty man, he said.
But ranting is what Rhod does best, and, with frequent references to his anger management diary, he regaled us with tales of how he used to be.
The fury at his girlfriend buying him a computerised toothbrush for his birthday, the insanity of repeated announcements telling passengers they were travelling in the quiet carriage of the train, the futility of writing to companies to tell them “Voodoo” shower gel had killed his grandfather – all delivered with the hilarious anger, confusion and frustration the Welshman is rightly famous, and loved, for.
As the stories became more and more intricate, laced with full-throttled anger, he reminded us, time and time again, this was how he used to be. Not now. Now, it would just make him laugh.
Which is exactly the affect the show had on the audience, as the comedian built up the momentum, all the way to his final parting shot, when the intentionally “pointless” tattoo turned out to have a very sharp edge indeed.
I won’t spoil the ending, but let’s just say it made for one very happy vegetable, released from its ridiculous packaging, and given the Big Apple fairy tale ending it had, probably, always dreamed of.