Kathy Griffin, Palace Theatre, London
Friday 24 June 2011
The boxes of the Palace Theatre are decorated with cherubs but on its stage the American comedian and reality-show star Kathy Griffin is busy stressing that her line
in celebrity gossip is anything but sweet or innocent. The excitable and girlish 50-year-old protests rather too much about being dangerous ("I'll do my act 'til I get arrested") and repeats a notion that the US Embassy should be put on stand-by in case she causes a "diplomatic incident".
Sure, she's a double-Emmy winner and a New York Times best-selling author but should Griffin be on a most-wanted list for revealing that she once abandoned Graham Norton during a TV shoot in Soho or that a waitress was a bit hesitant about warming her scones at one of the various upper-crust eateries she has frequented during her stay here?
Despite her age, belied by her youthful appearance, Griffin seems a perfect comic for the OMG and LOL generation, the superlatively challenged, who say nothing with the maximum amount of drama they can muster.
While bitch queen Joan Rivers at least used to ask "Can we talk?" Griffin railroads with "I have to tell you this" or "and another thing" before going off on another mildly entertaining, at best, diversion. It turns out that Griffin is friendly with Rivers and is to stay with her in a hotel suite in London. Is this, I wonder, the logical conclusion of the timeless advice to keep your friends close and your enemies closer – keep the legend you will only ever look up to in an adjoining room?
One of the last stops for Griffin's whirlwind "tongue-lashing" is Sarah Palin, via an instalment of material I can only describe as "What Oprah did next". The Palin sequence offers at least some pause for thought, amid all this celebrity and gag-light guff, when Griffin observes that the politician is "great for me as a comedian but not so great for me as a citizen".
This fly-by-night visit (two shows in one day) was strictly for the die-hard fans who were out in force tonight and who, by the way, absolutely loved it.
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
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