Rhys Darby Bristol Hippodrome 8/10
THOUGH perhaps best known as an actor, with credits such as Yes Man, where he co-starred alongside Jim Carrey, Aardman's Arthur Christmas, or in the role that made him famous, as the bumbling manager of the Flight of the Conchords, Rhys Darby was always a stand-up comedian first. Beginning in the mid- Nineties in his native New Zealand, he came to Britain 10 years ago and soon found himself on BBC Radio with the fledgling Flight of the Conchords programme. Now, perhaps more popular than ever, Darby has written a book entitled This Way to Spaceship, described as "a handy autobiographical and end of the world companion". It's also the name of his UK tour.
The show began with Darby walking onstage as Bill Napier, a New Zealand ranger responsible for the tour's security. The material was sharp, the delivery intentionally awkward, and typical of the style of humour found in the best work in Flight of the Conchords.
Darby's main show saw him stranded on a spaceship recalling the events that led to his current circumstance. A number of routines revolved around his childhood, whether pretending he was storming a golf course in Vietnam or trying to convince a careers advisor he wanted to go into "sound effects." It was all genuinely funny, with a surprising physicality. Darby isn't afraid to make himself look like an idiot.
Always engaging and frequently hilarious, Rhys Darby's show comes highly recommended.
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