Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right Russell Brand – Messiah Complex review

Heads up! We’re working hard to be accurate – but these are unusual times, so please always check before heading out.

Russell Brand – Messiah Complex review

Mon Oct 14 2013, Hammersmith Apollo

By Michael Curle
russell brand press 2013
russell brand press 2013

Russell Brand – Messiah Complex

4 out of 5 stars

Russell Brand is a hard man to pin down (unless, of course, you’re a woman). The slinky sex pirate of tabloid lore has, in recent years, blossomed into a thoughtful media commentator. He’s popped up on Newsnight to talk about addiction – which is unpacked to hilarious effect in tonight’s show – and penned eloquent articles for the Guardian.

It’s this brainy side of Brand that takes centre stage tonight. He introduces us to his heroes – Gandhi, Che Guevara, Malcolm X and Jesus Christ – and wrestles with the ideas of Nietzsche and GK Chesterton. In a Godless world, we look to other people for leadership, but they’re just as flawed as the rest of us. Brand shockingly recounts the rank hypocrisy by Ghandi over the use of Western medicine, which led to the death of his wife. Or as one heckler puts it, ‘Ghandi was a cunt’.

Another of Brand’s heroes, Morrissey, is in the audience tonight, but it’s a different Mancunian Rock star, Noel Gallagher, who threatens to steal the show, albeit in absentia. The Essex dandy gleefully quotes the former Oasis guitarist’s jibe at Brand’s select committee appearance last year. ‘Russell, why were you at the Houses of Parliament dressed as the WWF wrestler The Undertaker?’ It’s a welcome correction to the comic’s ego, which at times threatens to balloon out of control.

As Brand wraps things up, the audience is treated to a wave of sexual filth: the material so blue, it would make Roy Chubby Brown blush (check the next edition of Viz Profanisaurus for the term ‘leather bagel’). Inevitably, Brand concludes by comparing himself to Jesus, otherwise known as the Second Coming. Fnarr fnarr.

Despite the show’s delusions of philosophical grandeur, ‘Messiah Complex’ is as thought provoking as it is entertaining. But let’s get one thing straight: Russell Brand is not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy.

Read the latest comedy features

Show more
See more comedy features

    You may also like

      Support Time Out

      We see you’re using an ad-blocker. Ad revenue is Time Out’s main source of income. The content you’re reading is made by independent, expert local journalists.

      Support Time Out directly today and help us champion the people and places which make the city tick. Cheers!

      Donate now