Outstanding. Hughes is gold
Finding a loudmouthed Aussie comic at the Festival is a bit like finding an idiot on Big Brother. But Steve Hughes is different.
Yeah, he’s Australian. Yeah, he’s hacked off with stuff. And yeah, he uses the word f**k as punctuation. But by God, he has something to say.
Hughes’s tag line is: ‘Bush and Blair say God will judge them. Why wait?’ He sure hasn’t. You can only hope that should that time come, the Almighty can conduct equally eloquent character assassinations. Terrorism, fascism and the new world order are Hughes’s topics of choice. As you’d expect, the war on terror comes in for a pounding.
There are plenty of comics treading the terror and religion terrain at this year’s Fringe, but few do so with such passion and intelligence – and still manage to make you cough up a lung from laughing.
What makes Hughes so brilliant is his fearlessness. There’s plenty of Bush-bashing, but no beating around it. His honesty is brutal and no one’s safe from a skilfully constructed slagging.
Hughes might be delivering weighty points, but he never loses sight of comedy’s most crucial element: the laughs. In fact, the only niggle with this top-level show is that he draws attention to what he refers to as ‘the quiet bits’, when folk aren’t laughing but listening intently. It’s an unnecessary lack of faith. His material’s outstanding and the crowd are rapt.
Mark Thomas and Rob Newman have proven how effective comedy can be as a mouthpiece for such issues. Hughes knocks them into a cocked hat. In summary: Hughes is gold. His show’s called Storm. If there’s any justice, he will.