In the week the Jerry Seinfeld played the 02, I went to see Rory Bremner. As Russell Howard warms up at the Harrow Arts for his 02 gigs, Rory Bremner was at the Radlett Centre. Despite this injustice, there’s no doubt that Bremner remains one of this country’s top impressionists and one of our finest comedy performers.
The first time I saw him live was in Edinburgh where he sat at a desk as Bill Clinton did during his impeachment testimony about Monica Lewinsky. The impression was spot on, the material brilliant. But what made it special was that the real life event had only just taken place. So it was no surprise to find Bremner riffing about FIFA throughout the night, on the very day events were unfolding in Zurich.
His targets included the last government, the current coalition, the Royals and celebrity culture with pretty much everyone else in between. The only thing missing is that he can’t really do impressions of the currrent crop. “I saw Nick Clegg the other day, he said can you do me yet, I said no can you?”
I saw the show with a Tory newspaper columnist who made the valid point though that if he could do people like George Osborne and Chris Huhne would the audience know what they sound like? But all sides of the political spectrum were given a hard time, his impressions of old hands like John Prescott and Michael Howard are still hilarious. It also struck me that unlike most comics who are telling stories or doing ‘bits’ on various subjects, Bremner just has a phenomenal amount to remember, and he never misses a beat.
It’s a shame he isn’t on television anymore, Channel 4 seem to have moved on to hipper acts. On the evidence of this fine show at the Radlett Centre he could certainly teach the younger generaion a thing or two.
Brett Spencer lives in Bushey and, in his day job, is interactive editor for BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music