Comedy

Scott Capurro
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The Independent Culture
comedy

IAN SHUTTLEWORTH

You may well have seen Scott Capurro (below) without realising it: when Robin Williams first drags up in Mrs Doubtfire, Capurro is one of his camp couturiers. Although his lanky body gets to throw some amusing shapes on screen, he barely utters a word. This is a pity, as Scott Capuro's tongue is his greatest asset.

His autobiographical show Risk Gay drew universal plaudits on last year's Edinburgh Fringe. Mixing acerbic, queen-bitch stand-up material with often poignant personal anecdotes, Capurro chronicled his adolescent gay awakening, picaresque encounters in San Francisco and life as an openly gay comedian. It was a candid, affirmative show, and in performance he succeeded not simply in striking up a rapport with his audience, but in seemingly making friends with them.

On the strength of the Perrier Award for Best Newcomer netted by Risk Gay, he made a number of stand-up appearances last autumn. The tentative confessional vein was banished; you don't seduce audiences, you hustle them. In Capurro's case, that's almost literally true: brazenly cruising individual punters and making no concessions to more delicate sensibilities, he hovers like a hawk in designer-casual plumage, then swoops without mercy.

One-liners, such as his masterful put-down of religious pamphleteers - "Jesus is coming and you're wearing that?" - are joined by an idiosyncratic perspective on the old comic chestnut of English-American differences (on his appearance on Pebble Mill: "Alan Titchmarsh said, `So, Scott, you're a gay comedian; how do you go down in the States?' So I showed him - now we're going out").

Neither "safe", effeminate camp nor Queer-with-a-capital-agenda, Scott Capurro is as tart as an extra-stength lemon drop and has the rare gift of making people laugh readily at their own discomfiture. Quick, see him now before Channel 4 give him a Friday night series.

Scott Capurro plays Stop the Pigeon, Eastcote, Middx, 15 Mar (081-421 1141); Red Rose, N4, 16/17 Mar (081-675 3819)

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