Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross, Hackney Empire, London
Monday 04 October 2010
They were once "two idiots dancing toward a canyon" and tonight Russell Brand, who coined that phrase on his last live tour, and Jonathan Ross were reunited publicly for the first time since Sachsgate.
Before Ross appeared, Brand read from the newest volume of his autobiography, My Booky Wook II: This Time It's Personal, but not without a bit of embroidery – albeit with fewer trademark "Brandiose" gestures.
"Don't expect too much Bacchanalia – it will be more like Alan Bennett" was Brand's warning, but initially the kind of talking head Brand was interested in was the development of his bouffant hairdo, likened in a cartoon to the ascent of man. "There's more hair in the air than is actually on my scalp," he exclaims at one follicular image.
The book is cursory on Sachsgate and so, it proved, was tonight's show. The first half's readings were dominated by email exchanges Brand had with his hero Morrissey. He likens the correspondence to Bosie and Wilde, but it's more Hinge and Bracket, with Morrissey over-the-top in his exaltation to Brand to teach the Americans something during Brand's stint hosting the MTV Awards. "I've never been," writes Morrissey, "but I am sure it's awful."
The charm of the first half wasn't matched by Ross's Q&A with Brand, in part because Brand seemed to have notched back up to manic mode. This befitted some of the spiritual platitudes that came from Brand, who maintained that both films and fame were "shit".
Already admitting that he misses stand-up, it's the live realm that is the solution to the fame and spirituality conundrum that Brand faces. He quotes playwright Howard Barker as saying "in the end there is nowhere left to go than where you are from". In a sense he has already achieved this by being at the Hackney Empire, site of some of his early triumphs.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Ed Sheeran dedicates song to David Cameron
Star Wars 7: David Fincher's sequel idea sounds a lot more intriguing
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Benefits 'smart cards' plan revealed by Iain Duncan Smith to stop claimants spending welfare money on alcohol
- < Previous
- Next >