Tim Renkow: King of the Tramps

He’s a cheeky one that Tim Renkow. He comes onto the Bunka stage (as it is) all flailing limbs and you can read the collective mind of the hushed audience – OMG! Will he be able to control himself physically so we can get things started? There’s no problem on that score as Tim settles himself down, cradling his mic, looking like the stage – any stage – is his true home.

So quite relevant that the show is – mainly – about homelessness. There’s no ‘how I fell on hard times, pity me’ routine (the words pity and Tim Renkow do NOT go together). Tales of living on the streets, scoring crack (or not) and dealing with cerebral palsy are all given the same matter-of-fact deal-with-it treatment.

I would imagine that the above issues aren’t going to be personal concerns for the average audience so a bit of vicarious amusement can be had. It’s when Tim ventures into the more general you-surely-must-have-an-opinion-on-this subject matter – the Holocaust, transsexuality  – and lets rip with some decidedly un-pc views that’s the time for gasps or unbridled laughter – depending on your opinion.

Are these truly Tim’s opinions? Well, they’re not so extreme but more of the ‘I was thinking that… ‘ variety so I wouldn’t label him a shock-merchant. Plus the punch-lines are delivered with a trademark twinkle in the eye and a mega-watt smile so there’s always an air of ambiguity. Not for him the disclaimer trotted out by lesser comedians – ‘these opinions are not necessarily my own… ‘

Bold, liberating, thought-provoking, laugh-laden – we got it.

(Review for 9 Aug)




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