Rich Hall is familiar to most of us mainly through his work as a comedian on TV, particularly on panel shows. However, he is also a talented and successful writer. In this show, he reads extracts from his best-selling book Things Snowball and his forthcoming Magnificent Bastards.
His first, seemingly autobiographical, extract explores his life as a teenager in small-town America, living in relative poverty with a drunken father whose small income comes from selling life assurance policies, mostly to army or navy veterans. He describes his largely unsuccessful attempts to impress the girl of his dreams and his difficulty in fitting in to a school life where massive importance is placed on clothes, particularly expensive clothes with designer labels. Although this is extremely funny, it also reminds us of the cruel ways in which children can behave to each other.
After this there is a short digression in which the merits or otherwise of one or two Scottish cities are described in some detail. Needless to say, there are no quotes here that will be used by the Scottish Tourist Board.
The final extract concerns the behaviour of a teenage daughter and her Myspace friends, and is loosely based on actual events, although he takes them to absurd, comic extremes.
Rich Hall is both extremely funny and an excellent writer so anyone seeing this show should be tempted to go out and buy his books. However, it is slightly disappointing in that there is no real attempt to engage with the audience. The show would benefit from a brief introduction and a comment or two between extracts.