The whole fish-out-of water shtick is a difficult one to pull off – the performer has to be
Whatever your comic tastes, it’s safe to assume you’ll find something to enjoy about this.
The short-sporting Campbell encourages an atmosphere of bonhomie from the outset, wandering through the tables and chairs, mic in hand, as punters file in. Doing this, he’s essentially able to start the show before it starts, chatting to the audience and looking for triggers to begin into the more scripted material. Bits on the pleasures of tea, passive-aggressive British customer service and Scots’ love of living up to their hard-drinking reputation provide the framework the show. None of his subjects are particularly radical (though there is a brief appearance of the lesser-spotted left-wing case for Brexit) but they serve to showcase the skill Campbell has in holding an audience’s attention. It’s all very relaxed, with Campbell seemingly most comfortable stringing the audience along as he recounts some tale of his frustration with everyday British life – case in point his experience of ordering a glass of milk in a London boozer.
A lot of the material is buttressed by an observational comic’s knack for picking up on cultural differences, whether between Canadians and Americans, Brits and Aussies, or Scots and English. It’s all solid stuff but it probably won’t be the last time you hear a story concerning Antipodean barstaff. Set against this, Campbell’s last anecdote, where he broaches the topic of his experiences in Russia, is a bit of a breath of fresh air, not least because of his strangely convincing Russian accent.
Whatever your comic tastes, it’s safe to assume you’ll find something to enjoy about this, whether it be an appreciation of the material, a respect for the skill of his storytelling, or by virtue of Campbell’s irresistibly affable personality.