No stranger to the Melbourne Comedy Fesitval, Craig Hill is the kind of outrageous gay comedian that bus groups from the suburbs love. Deliberately provocative, Hill revels in making his audience squirm, whether it’s through salacious stories or the fear that he may pull them up on stage and start gyrating towards them in his leather kilt.
In the same sort of style as Julian Clary, but without quite so much wit, Hill pulls no punches when it comes to the gritty sexual proclivities of a gay man about town, and his audiences love it. If there’s a dirty innuendo to be had, he takes it and punctuates the line with a wink and a wicked smile.
There is little to be seen of a ‘routine’ in Hill’s performance, based almost entirely on bantering with the audience and skilfully spinning the usual “what’s your name; where are you from” shtick into opportunities to ‘throw shade’ back at them, to use drag queen parlance. Sure, there are a few stories that get trotted out apropos of nothing, and amongst his group of friends they’re probably hilarious, but the local crowd is less likely to be able to get the reference when singing songs about the painfulness of travelling Scotrail.
It’s hard to dislike Craig Hill though. He may intimidate some, but he’s clearly having fun on stage and trying to bring the crowd along with him. Perhaps his frustrated theatre training is the causes his tendency to take any opportunity to sing or dance so theatre folk will readily identify.
It seems Hill has a loyal following and certainly anyone who enjoys a bawdy night out, will enjoy his raucous banter, especially if they’re already a few sheets to the wind.