Rhod Gilbert started doing stand up comedy in early 2002 and has been picking up nominations and awards ever since, including the Chortle Award For Best Breakthrough Act, a nomination for the prestigious Perrier Best Newcomer Award (in 2005, when the Edinburgh comedy awards were still sponsored by Perrier), and an if.comedy nomination in 2008 (they replaced Perrier). His increased profile has led to appearances on radio and TV including Mock The Week, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, 8 Out of Ten Cats, Live at the Apollo, Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow and The Unbelievable Truth. If that's not enough he also hosts his own weekly show on BBC Radio Wales.
And he has travelled the world to perform stand up, including visits to Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Dubai, Manila and Thailand. According to his BBC profile, he was the first comedian ever to perform in Taiwan.
If you're still not sure who he is, you may know him as the "Voice Of Wales" from the TV adverts for "Visit Wales".
His 2008 show, Rhod Gilbert and the Award-Winning Mince Pie, filmed at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London for this DVD, has Gilbert questioning his sanity, his career and his life after suffering a mental breakdown brought on by the aforementioned award-winning mince pie at a motorway services on the M6.
Video and Audio
Nothing to complain about here, a 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer as you would expect and a DD2.0 stereo soundtrack that's just fine.
Three nice extras. First up is the "Back to Llanbobl" featurette, which shadows Rhod as he returns to the (fictional) village of Llanbobl. Some of this is very reminiscent of "Rhod Gilbert's Leaving Llanbobl" a pilot of a radio sitcom broadcast on BBC Radio Two in December 2008.
The second extra is "Luggage", probably Gilbert's most famous routine about a problem that he had with his luggage. This is one of the most watched clips on YouTube, but it's good to have it here for completeness.
Finally there are out-takes, which are basically extra bits recorded during the filming of the show. There's an introductory bit where Rhod comes out to do a bit of banter before the real show starts, as well as some other moments from the recordings. Well worth having for the ad-lib nature of the material.
Rhod Gilbert is a great stand up comedian. It's easy to see why this show received an if.comedy nomination in 2008, it was one of the highlights of the Fringe. His telling of the story is masterful. I can't really go into too much detail since it will spoil the overall effect, but the way the whole show weaves together is brilliant. It is lovingly crafted and well polished, but Gilbert's delivery still has a personal touch to it that erases any doubts about churning out the same routine for months (something often levelled at stand up comedians who tour their shows).
If you enjoy this watch out for "Rhod Gilbert and the Cat that looked like Nicholas Lyndhurst" which is currently on tour.
This is another great stand up DVD. It seems the end of 2009 has once again blessed us with a very large number of very funny stand up comedy DVDs, so there's no excuse for buying someone a Jethro or Jim Davidson DVD for Christmas this year...