For the most part Lickwood comes across as a genuinely likeable chap, who’s rightly very proud of his achievements as a black comedian. And in his Edinburgh Festival Fringe show ‘Food for Thought’ there is some very good material. Describing his trips on Easyjet and Jamaican Airlines raise genuine laughs and Lickwood can build jokes up to a killer punchline, perfectly demonstrated when describing how he dealt with a group of over keen trick and treaters at Halloween.
But material debating whether Prince Harry goes to Afghanistan (he’s already been) seemed out-of-date and an emphasis on all things English, including St George, could have been prepared better for the local audience. Lickwood’s a comic who gives a lot back to the nation he’s proud to be a part of - no better demonstrated than the work he’s done rehabilitating prison inmates and entertaining the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Lickwood gets good mileage out of this, especially the way he handled the chants of “who are ya?” from the American troops in the crowd.
The problem comes when Lickwood loses humour as an instrument to get his point across. This is especially prevalent in the latter stages of his show, where the material became overbearing and weighed down. The audience, in the intimate attic venue, were left looking rather uncomfortable. Laughs were few and far between.
Rudi Lickwood showed bursts of very good comedy, but as a whole Food for Thought didn’t hold up over the hour. I’d imagine after this year’s Fringe Lickwood will have plenty of food for thought of his own.
Rudi Lickwood’s - Food for thought, is showing at The Pleasance Courtyard until 31st August 2009.