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REVIEW: Russell Kane at Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal
RUSSELL Kane might just go on to be Britain's best young comic - if he can keep his feet on the ground.
Around 200 people packed the main theatre at the Brewery last night for a gig loosely stitched around the concept of "Smallness," although it's greatness that surely beckons.
The energetic metrosexual Essex boy is the first to admit that he 'can't write jokes' but he doesn't need one-liners when his routine is as strong as this.
His new Manchester-based fiancee - Lindsey - has provided him with a seam of brilliant new material which will be loved by Northern audiences.
In times of confrontation, "mad-for-it" Lindsey quotes Oasis and sprouts Gallagheresque sideburns as she rushes to defend her man.
Russell's biggest strength is 'schizo-comedy' - never funnier than when skipping across stage switching from one background, dialect and internal monologue to another.
The quirks of the British - be they Northerners, Londoners, Essex Boys, the Middle Class or pumped-up Geordies on steroids - all have their psyches explored and nailed.
Kane combines the physical comedy of a young Lee Evans with the other-worldly insight of a pre-Hollywood Russell Brand. He also has a neat line in impressions - his repetitious Louis Walsh and Gary Barlow 'Lizard blink' being two.
Kane's difficulty - as faced by all entertainers - will be retaining a connection with his audience now that his star is rising.
We were treated to his hot-tub encounter with a famous singer and her equally well-known boyfriend - but 'star stories' are not as strong as the Lindsey material.
Criticisms were hard to find but there was a lengthy diversion about him being recognised in an art gallery and then being followed around by a group of intimidating teenagers.
While obviously an experience that burned the comic, it wasn't funny enough to sustain for 15 minutes.
Kane needs to cultivate the big stadium audiences that he deserves. The problem is his lengthy stream-of-consciousness material is not compatible with television panel shows where lesser comics with weaker routines and quicker gags better fit the medium.
Nonetheless, the audience in Kendal loved him and hope he'll come back again.
Perhaps he will. If he can wipe from his mind the sheer number of people who relentlessly trooped back and forth to the toilet all the way through the gig.
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