We’d waited since Edinburgh to see this self-made comedy legend, having been overwhelmed by trying to find the time to see him in a very tight schedule. We’d heard plenty of chat about him on the streets of Edinburgh, so when we found out he was to perform at Soho Theatre we were quick to book!
This show was like no other comedy show we have ever seen. We had a brief glimpse at a review in Edinburgh and knew it wasn’t going to be a regular stand-up comedy routine. Little did we know we were going to be presented with an absolute train wreck of a comedy show, where the title performer arrives at the last minute… As a formula, this was absolute dynamite!
The show builds our excitement and expectation from the word go, with the humorously drawn out ‘please turn your phones off and refrain from talking’ in about seven different languages, to the ensuing trouble the stage manager faces with the absence of Mr. Richard Gadd. Covering for his absence, he tries to lead us through the show, every now and then making contact with Gadd, often in the form of live text messages or telephone calls. He shows us some home-made sketches and we are shown, on video, Gadd’s mission to get to the venue beginning eight hours before.
Between bawling with laughter and trying to get our breath back, we are left asking if he is ever actually going to turn up, does he even exist, or is he just a strange imagined character of this completely inept but hysterical stage manager?
This is more than just a one-man show. This is a budding comedy group, of which Gadd is the star. There is a heckler (Ian Smith) an ‘usher’ (Edward Aczel) and his stage manager (Ben Target), who are all part of the show, not to mention a violinist, the technician and, of course, Richard’s dad!
By the time Gadd arrives, the anticipation and excitement almost blow the roof of the house as he then tries to fit his entire act into nine minutes – a hilarious attempt at accelerated comedy. To us, not knowing much about the man or his comedy, he has created a show, in which before he even reaches the building he has become a comedy legend.
By breaking every single model for a comedy show, Gadd has cemented his place in GingerWig comedy folklore with a show that absolutely wowed Edinburgh and is now doing the same at the Soho Theatre. This guy is going to the top. Extended run? Channel 4? Hollywood? The constant references to a future career were cheeky but at the same time an honest pursuit of the future he deserves.
Will we ever see another comedy show like this? Not for a long time I’m sure. Richard Gadd: Waiting for Gaddot is on at the Soho Theatre in London until the 7th November.
Highlights of the Show – Gadd’s actual arrival, what Ben the stage manager’s parents call him, Gadd’s dad, and generally the man himself for this astounding performance.