As we reported a few weeks ago, Rich Fulcher has been previewing his 2011 Edinburgh show Tiny Acts of Rebellion at a handful of London dates. A bevy of our Velveteers caught his Sunday evening performance at the infamous Hen & Chickens pub in Islington; here’s Mog’s report from the front line:
On the spectrum of human behaviour Rich Fulcher typically sits some way past the far end. Chaotic, silly and unpredictable – all without a volume control. This particular show reigns it in a degree, although a reigned-in Rich is still some way beyond the pale. He arrives onstage in a jacket and tie, turned up to 11, whooping it up to the pumping intro music and high-fiving like a maniac. He comes across all frenzied US ‘life coach’ (the kind made famous by Louis Theroux), although it’s hard to tell if this is Rich’s intention or he’s just being himself. As a performer he’s never been easy to define!
The show is an adaptation of his 2010 book, Tiny Acts of Rebellion, in which he offers guidance on how to “stick it to the man” in our everyday lives. The concept translates well into a live show, allowing Rich to riff off the audience and elaborate on themes, bringing extra dimensions and energy to the ideas.
In the show Rich comes across as a slightly unhinged mischievous uncle. There’s a gentleness and genuineness to his performance that’s quite unusual – I assume it’s because he’s playing a version of himself rather than playing a character, as he did with his Eleanor of 2010. Don’t worry that he’s gone soft though – it’s still pure Fulcher! Urine features heavily, he tries to get an audience member to call her father a c**t and he attempted to feed our Paulyne soup with his fingers. Nice.
This being a preview there are still a few technical glitches and memory lapses to be ironed out, but Tiny Acts has all the ingredients of a great show: belly laughs, daftness, Fulcher philosophy – and real heart. We say check it out in Edinburgh!
Editor’s Note: There’s an extra preview date of Rich’s show this Saturday (9th July) at 4pm at the Wilmington Arms. To buy tickets for Tiny Acts of Rebellion at this year’s Edinburgh Festival click here. And if you want to offer up your own Tiny Act of Rebellion, email your suggestions to email@example.com.