Thursday, 06 August 2020

Russell Brand gives fans sweet treat

COMEDIAN Russell Brand gave cupcakes to every member of his audience at a stage show in Henley on Tuesday night.

COMEDIAN Russell Brand gave cupcakes to every member of his audience at a stage show in Henley on Tuesday night.

The comedian and campaigner was trying out new material on the sell-out crowd at the Kenton Theatre before he tours America.

Brand, who moved to Henley last year, left a cake on all 234 seats, each with a love heart sticker saying “Hare Krishna”. This was to indicate the cake was made without eggs, in line with the principles of Krishna.

Brand, 40, spent the show telling anecdotes, including one about being told off by a Henley farmer while walking his dog and straying from the footpath.

Other subjects included his football team West Ham, Donald Trump, the BBC’s Question Time, US TV station Fox News, Ed Miliband and the Dalai Lama.

His speech was characteristically quick and laden with expletives and went down well with the audience, even when he broke off because he felt a subject wasn’t working.

Sarah Miller, a town councillor, said it was a “great” performance.

“He crept onto the stage and then it was a whirlwind of stories,” she said. “It was like he had verbal diarrhoea but that’s just him.

“I thought he was going to be political but it was very much a walk through his life. He threw a lot out to the audience.

“When he thought something was not working he just sat on his chair and asked the audience to ask him questions and a lot of the stories came from that.

“He was ’effing and blinding but that’s part of him. He came across as a really spiritual, kind, thoughtful and sexy man.”

Ed Simons, chairman of the Kenton trustees, who gave Brand a tour of the theatre a few weeks ago before he booked the show, said: “It was a huge success. Everybody loved it.

“There was an ease about how he performed. It was very natural and he chatted with the audience.

“There was an interesting cross-section in the audience - not just young people, there was a number of my generation.

“He was generous about the theatre and organised a collection at the end of the show for the theatre restoration levy, which is very generous of him.”

After the 90-minute show, Brand quickly left the theatre. He posed for a “selfie” with one fan before giving a thumbs-up as he drove off in a Land Rover Discovery.

The show was titled “Russell Brand working on new ideas for a one-man show at a reasonable price in small theatres” and had sold out within an hour of being announced via the comedian’s social media sites and the theatre’s website.

Fans came from across the UK and one travelled from Texas.

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