Theatre review: The Trouble With Scott Capurro

So,  what’s  troubling Scott Capurro, asks Cary Gee.

On the evidence of tonight’s show at London’s Soho Theatre, a  more fitting title might be, What’s not troubling Scott Capurro?

Despite his recent marriage to “a big black Brazilian man”, Capurro, who won the Perrier Award in Edinburgh for his show Risk Gay way back in 1994, before most of tonight’s audience were even eggs, is not a happy bunny. Admittedly this left-leaning San Franciscan liberal was never going to break any records for the most gags he could squeeze into an hour’s stand-up but tonight’s monologue begins in the gloaming and ends in a blackout.

Capurro’s approach to equal opportunities can best be summed up as “offend everyone equally”. Whether you consider his assault on Jews, Islam, blacks and even the Welsh as “scatter-gun” and lazy, or well-aimed and thorough will largely depend on the mood you were in when you sat down, but there is no denying that Capurro, now 58, remains a compelling raconteur, an acerbic assassin who doesn’t lose any sleep worrying about where, or in whom, he sticks his knife next. Unlike many of his contemporaries (think Pam Ann) Capurro doesn’t employ a disguise – this is him speaking – and as such his fulminations against modern life, and its mind-bending idiocies, resonate the more loudly.

Capurro is himself Jewish, and as he reminds us on more than one occasion married to a much younger black Brazilian man, which, as he lays into Jews and blacks and Brazilians, begs the age-old question, Is it OK to be as offensive as you like about yourself (and by extension) others like you?

As Capurro engages with a former couple in the front row you can’t help but wish someone would hand them a microphone too, if only to level the playing field.

But then we, the disappointingly sparse audience, would have missed out on the delicious cruelty that only comedy this vexatious can provide. I’d say that Capurro, for all his jokes about paedophiles –“at least they drive slowly outside the school gates” – has just about got the balance right.

The Trouble With Scott Capurro is at the Soho Theatre, London