Kevin Precious, The Capitol, Horsham, December 9
Kevin Precious is a former Religious Studies teacher turned comedian, whose stand-up show offers a wonderfully observant and often painfully funny look into the world of the under-appreciated educator.
Whether it’s dealing with uppity parents at a parent evening, coping with male pupils’ compulsion to draw rude body parts on every picture they see – to make the picture complete, of course – or experiencing the sheer horror of a pupil walking into the teachers’ lounge (read: sanctuary), the moments Kevin talks about create a highly amusing portrait of life in a modern school.
He is particularly good at conveying the exasperating moments, such as being asked for the hundredth time whether he’s a religious RE teacher, or having to deal with a fight breaking out in his classroom, which could potentially ruin his lunchtime.
A standout moment in the show arrives when he talks about keeping a lonely pupil company on a school trip, only to find out exactly why no one wanted to hang around with the pupil in the first place.
Despite the harshness of some of his jokes and his gleefully self-deprecating manner, it’s clear that Kevin Precious has fond memories of being a teacher, which is why his jokes work so well. Some pupils may have been irritating little oiks at times, but he’s able to laugh at the ways they expressed themselves.
His strengths lie in his ability to bring to life the rude, boisterous antics of school pupils and make the audience laugh and cringe at the hilarious truth.
Kevin’s also good at thinking on his feet, which he demonstrates before the show starts properly, asking teachers in the audience questions and responding with witty and well-timed comebacks.
Eden Rivers, who warms up the audience, thoroughly earns his round-of-applause as well, as he talks about the monumental tasks of parenthood in a way that is both hilarious and touching.
By Lawrence Smith