Review: Russell Brand, Messiah Complex, at the Ipswich Regent

Russell Brand brought his Messiah Complex World Tour to the Ipswich Regent

Russell Brand brought his Messiah Complex World Tour to the Ipswich Regent - Credit: PA

It’s fair to say that comedian Russell Brand isn’t afraid of the limelight.

In fact, as he readily admits - with countless examples - he can’t stand not being the centre of attention.

Well he needn’t have worried, there was no danger of that at the Regent Theatre in Ipswich on Monday night.

From the off (when he bounded on stage to Personal Jesus - a not so subtle hint to the main theme of the show) he had the packed auditorium in fits of laughter as his brought his Messiah Complex world tour to Suffolk’s county town.

For a little shy of two hours Brand was as charming and enthusiastic as ever - spending the first 15 or so minutes “cruising” the crowd and engaging off the cuff with his (mostly female) fans.

By taking on the 21st Century’s continued obsession with the cult of celebrity - something he knows may be a little ironic given his need for constant attention - he introduces some of history’s most influential figures - Gandhi, Malcolm X, Che Guevara and Jesus.

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Each little segment ends with Brand somehow convincing us that he has similar attributes to all four - eventually finishing with him silhouetted in a spotlight a little like Christ.

It ends with Brand asking how these four men would get on in today’s world, one so dominated by celebrity and the cult of commercialisation.

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The show itself - as can probably be guessed - addresses some quite grandiose themes and at times it does sound as if Brand is being a little too clever for his own good. But it works and keeps you engaged throughout.

Some of the material was a little close to the bone - there were moments that I wouldn’t want to have watched with my mum and dad - but lets face it, that’s exactly what you expect from Russell Brand.

And if the ovation at the end of the show was anything to go by then the audience weren’t too worried. It was a great night and testament to the pulling power of the Regent that it can attract one of the country’s - dare I say it the world’s - top comedians.

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