It’s no Kane, no gain as hurricane blows in

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ONE of our brightest UK comics, Russell Kane, looks forward to testing Sheffield blokes.

IF you had to sum up Russell Kane with a phrase “human hurricane” wouldn’t be far off the mark.

Even during our interview the razor sharp funny man is doing the washing up. He admits his restless nature can be a problem, not least with lady friends.

“That’s got me nailed, on the head,” he replies when we suggest he’s a Duracell bunny type who never relaxes as much as he probably should.

“When I have girlfriends foolish enough to go out with me that’s one of the complaints, always.

“I love watching movies, for instance, but for the first 15 minutes I am Wikipedia-ing biographies of the stars. I cannot relax, not properly, not unless I am asleep.”

But that energy, combined with a fearless work rate and a precocious comedy talent, is in the process of making Kane one of our best new wave entertainment assets.

His BBC3 show Britain Unzipped, co-hosted with Radio 1 rising star Greg James, has taken him to a wider audience, as has his debut fictional novel The Humorist.

But it is on stage that Kane shines, having poured an agile mind into touring shows such as Fakespeare and forthcoming tour Posturing Delivery.

The chirpy chap is even throwing himself, somewhat needlessly, into the critical cauldron that is Edinburgh Festival as we speak.

“It’s supposed to be finished, that’s why you do 20 previews,” he says of the show. “I could have gone straight to Sheffield on tour, done a few previews in the Lescar and got it honed.

“There’s no reason for me to go back to Edinburgh and subject myself to the heartless scrutiny of my peers and less kind journalists.

“But I’ve done it to force myself to forge a show under the same conditions that I’ve always forged it under, knowing they like things to be pushed a bit further up here.”

And the premise for Posturing Delivery sounds ideal. In short, it exposes male insecurity over childlessness and sees Kane having a baby on stage and raising it during the set.

“Obviously I’m not going to give birth on stage - it would be way too theatrical - but I do have an imaginary baby, people imagine it arriving, and I grow it up over the hour. There is a hypothetical child brought forth, but we use our imagination.”

And in doing so Kane tackles an issue us guys fret about at some stage during our ‘formative years’, but we maybe never used to consider.

“We’ve become emotionally literate.

“I know everyone thinks it is no sort of an age and it annoys when people moan about being 30 but it is a real deal and you start to get paranoid. Well I did anyway: I’m a comedian, I get together with girls and keep splitting up because I’m a useless twat. And what if I’m just one of these people who never has kids.

“You never really hear blokes talking about that, Gary down the pub going ‘I’m 32 and I don’t have a baby, I’m craving a child’.

“You might get that once you’ve got a woman, but you don’t really hear single, straight men fretting, and I thought why?

“As a creature we’re unique in how much men are involved in rearing young.

“How come that phenomenon doesn’t happen more often?

“But when I tried discussing it with a female friend I received prejudice: ‘that’s because it doesn’t matter if you’re a man, you can have kids at any age, you’re fertile in your 70s whereas we have a biological clock’’.

“I found that profoundly sexist and it made me angry so I wanted to start thinking about it.”