Gareth Richards: Gareth Goes Electric

A show title that implies a comparison between Bob Dylan and a minor comedian is clearly a rather ambitious, even presumptuous one. Though comical titular musical comedian Gareth Richards’ own Going Electric (symbolised by him moving in his opening song from small plastic electric instrument the ‘ElectroChord’ to the small plastic electric instrument the ‘QChord’) is amusing, you suspect it is unlikely to be one viewed with quite the same historical significance.

The basis of the show and what encompasses most of it is the story of Richard’s rather unlikely supporting of Englebert Humperdinck at Royal Albert Hall and how expectedly awful this turned out to be. These tales are amusing, but with Richards not only telling and retelling the story but also reading out tweets sent to him after and a Facebook status from the time, it is rather drilled into the ground. Furthermore, given that the gig itself occurred in November 2011, one does wonder exactly how long Richards has been dining out on it for.

The songs that so angered Humperdinck fans themselves are relatively amusing, though when speaking Richards has a strange habit of starting entirely new sentences only to dive back into his previous train of thought, forcing these same sentences to emerge as the start of entirely new bits; hence, some of his segues are less clean than they could be. Nonetheless, Richards is a likeable individual with a calm if bumbling demeanour whose flaws could largely be covered with the euphemistic label of charm, but it’s fair to say that this show requires a heavy dose of the sort of drugs Dylan was keen on to be regarded as anything other than mediocre.

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Performances

The Blurb

Gareth always dreamt of playing the Albert Hall like Bob Dylan. In 2011, he was invited to perform there supporting Engelbert Humperdinck. Gareth couldn't say no. He should have. 'A delightful hour of comedy' (Guardian).

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