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Rich Hall, Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury - review

By Mat Growcott | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

Rich Hall is angry – and this time it's personal.

Rich Hall

He has made a career of making fun of the Anglo-American relationship, and is a regular on QI and Have I Got News For You with his sharp topical wit.

But at the Theatre Severn last night, Rich admitted he has no idea what is happening in his home country.

And while he said he's worried about a president that can manage to spell the word "tap" wrong in a tweet, he's more annoyed that the Obamacare repeal ended up costing him $10,000.

He qualified for free healthcare and decided to have a bad eye checked in the US, rather than cancelling a plane from the UK and having it done on the NHS. But when he got home, he had a letter saying he'd have to pay for any treatment he received.

It's part of an effort by Trump to completely undo everything Obama had managed during his eight-year term, Rich said.

"He's going to dredge up Osama Bin Laden and see if he can bring him back to life next," he added.

Trump, unsurprisingly, was the main focus of the first half of the show. Rich managed to touch fresh ground with his own unique style, with an audience who lapped up every line.

"It's got to the point where cities across America are just ignoring him," he said.

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"Clinton proved you could be president without morals, Bush proved you could be a president without an IQ, Obama proved anybody could be president and Trump proves we don't need a president.

"He's like one of those inflatable men you get outside car dealerships."

Rich's strength is his unique position living between America and the UK. He can joke about both countries as an outsider, celebrating the wacky and wonderful, and comparing the two.

Brits' 'keep calm and carry on' attitude is the best thing to do, especially in a terrorist situation.

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"The best thing you can do is keep it together," stated Rich.

"It's only when you get an inch of snow you panic."

His local knowledge was fantastic as well. He joked about locations in Shrewsbury - and in Shropshire as a whole.

When he said Telford was a nice place and someone in the crowd said 'you obviously haven't been there' - of which he seemed shocked.

The second half was more musical, a Shrewsbury hoedown; which must be a first.

He took occupations and names from the audience and turned them into songs.

With the help of two bandmates, the music was tight and toe-tapping, and the lyrics hilarious.

The speed at which he comes up with lyrics is incredible. He may have only added in the occasional new word for an established song, but it hit the right spots every time, and the 'picked-on' members of the public loved hearing their life in music.

It's a celebration of Americana, with an odd mix of Shrewsbury-based software developers and Ford Escort Mexicos mixed in for good measure.

Rich is as sharp as ever, and his style of humour is perfect for these uncertain times.

He's not afraid of saying what he thinks, of going a little darker that perhaps some people would want to go.

But it's not enough to just be political - and whether he's poking fun of Brexit, singing and playing guitar, or just joking with the crowd, Rich was confident and always very funny.

A great show and a great night out.

Mat Growcott

By Mat Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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