Thursday, 11 March 2010

god collar

The Independent's review of Marcus Brigstocke's show, God Collar. I've liked him in everything I've seen or heard him in, and it's no surprise that his show sounds more nuanced than some might expect.

As the review says, 'His gift of balancing gravitas and gall makes him one of a group of comedians, along with, for example, Daniel Kitson, Stewart Lee, Robert Newman, Robin Ince and Paul Sinha, who you go to see for how they think and what they think as much as to laugh at the product of the two.'

Another extract:
Taking care to bash the foibles of the holy trinity of religious targets, Christianity, Judaism and Islam, Brigstocke leaves us in little doubt that the "God-shaped hole in his life" that he had recently started to feel, was never going to be filled by dogma. During his irreverent journey through religion he mixes up the shoes at a mosque, keeps Jehovah's Witnesses in a near-hostage situation and takes a series of pot shots at the easy target of the Pope, including: "The Pope went to Poland last year – something he very much wanted to do as a younger man..."
Disgusted that the same belief system lies behind his grandmother's wish to see her late husband in heaven and the supposed heavenly rewards of the 9/11 terrorists, Brigstocke's ire towards some of his targets leads him to end some routines by cursing them in a way that seems smug or gratuitous or both.
Meanwhile, atheists are very much in his line of fire too, and perhaps more creatively so. "You're not cleverer than everyone else" he reminds those in the audience who have identified themselves as such (the vast majority of the room). The perceived monopoly of truth and intelligence by atheists seems to have been fuel to the fire of Brigstocke's personal spiritual meanderings and he reserves one of his most savage satires for Richard Dawkins. Brigstocke portrays him as prissy, preening and smug, and sums up one of the chapters of The God Delusion as saying: "Occasionally people have things called feelings. These are best avoided."