Jay Richardson

Review: Rob Delaney, Meat

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Preoccupied with the corporeal, Rob Delaney’s show is judiciously titled as he views himself and other humans as base, filthy creatures – slaves to their primal desires and bodily functions.

The London-based American offers a stream of unfiltered, unsentimental confessions on his sex life, food gorging, toilet habits and visceral, love-hate relationship with his three young sons. Perhaps a quarter of this show is dedicated to masturbation.

There’s little structure to the 80-odd minutes but it’s all the more bracing for the relentless spew, a forgotten anecdote about a similarly slobbish celebrity making for an entertaining encore. Yet while it might be unrefined in terms of subject matter, there’s plenty of deceptively sculpted phrasing amongst the seeming brain farts.

With his brash, take-me-as-I-am delivery, the Catastrophe star seldom feels a need to apologise for his behaviour, his honesty and self-abasement immediately endearing him.

A sort of post-feminist, sharing his new and improved fingering technique for the greater good, Delaney manages to be both blokeish and liberally right on, graphic in his description of vaginas but wholeheartedly committed in his poetic reverence of them.

There’s no sexism or irony in him revealing how much he’d like to punch his wife, simply an acknowledgement of his failings and an unlikely call for equality, with an appreciation that she’d probably enjoy a few swings at him too.

He knows he’s being outrageous when he casually blurts about AIDS. Yet it comes from a position of playfulness rather than being shocking for shock’s sake, backed up by an entertaining account of his dumb college fumblings.

In a similar manner, when he recounts another tale of spying on a grossly overweight couple enjoying S & M sex, it’s genuinely delightful. And Kung Fu star David Carradine, who effectively wanked himself to death, is hailed as a hero, someone to truly aspire to.

For all the smut, chaos and flippancy Delaney attributes to his life, there’s little fat on Meat and it’s an impressively choice, juicy cut from his disordered, animalistic existence.

Date of live review: 15 March 2016 @ King’s Theatre, Glasgow