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Review: Russell Brand brings his 33 tour to Cambridge




Russell Brand’s career has followed a trajectory that has maybe come as a surprise to some. From slightly oddball TV presenter and stand-up comedian to Hollywood actor, well-known public figure and social commentator, he is now an influential presence on YouTube and during the show jokingly alluded to this by mentioning these recent attempts to "bring down the government".

Russell Brand
Russell Brand

Tonight’s performance at the Cambridge Corn Exchange was sold out and started at the unusual time of 6pm. Known for his self-awareness, Brand made of fun of this ("who starts a show at 6pm?!") but later revealed that, as a father of two young children, it was because he now needs more sleep.

Ahead of the gig - titled 33 after his lucky number - the star had asked members of the audience to fill out forms online detailing their experiences of lockdown and some of the embarrassing things they had done during that period.

He read some of them out - people could put their names or choose to remain anonymous - and they included things such as someone admitting to stealing toilet paper sheet by sheet from a Premier Inn, a man forgetting his mask to a first date and using one he found on the ground, and a woman who ended up detesting the sound of birdsong.

Throughout the show, the 46-year-old spoke candidly about different aspects of his personal life and various other topics - including the trials and tribulations of going camping, "not glamping", with the family - and also gave his take on the unprecedented events of January, February and March of 2020.

Some of his observations, which included calling out the exploits of certain politicians, were hilarious and Brand's delivery, timing and ability to highlight the absurd and take things to the extreme ensured that the energy level never dropped.

I’ve seen some comedians, such as Steve Hughes and Jimmy Carr, who have left me crying with laughter, doubled up and barely able to breathe. That wasn’t quite the case tonight but this was still an entertaining two hours of comedy from this engaging ‘anti-celebrity’ who remains an interesting figure that often divides opinion.

At the end of the evening, Russell got down off the stage and mingled with his fans, who happily took the opportunity to chat to him, hug him and take selfies - a nice gesture, as was the placing of Hare Krishna cookies under the seats.

The cookie left under audience members’ seats at Russell Brand's 2021 comedy show, 33. Picture: Adrian Peel
The cookie left under audience members’ seats at Russell Brand's 2021 comedy show, 33. Picture: Adrian Peel
The cookie left under audience members’ seats at Russell Brand's 2021 comedy show, 33. Picture: Adrian Peel
The cookie left under audience members’ seats at Russell Brand's 2021 comedy show, 33. Picture: Adrian Peel

For more on Russell Brand, visit russellbrand.com.

Read more:

Public Service Broadcasting: electronic music collective coming soon to Cambridge

The validity of lockdown debated at the Cambridge Union

‘I haven’t watched TV since 1987’: interview with Australian comedian Steve Hughes

Review: Jimmy Carr gave a comedy masterclass in Cambridge



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