Kernow King

3 Oct 2020, 7:00pm

Kernow King returns to the stage at the Minack this October with his Greatest Hits show. No subject in Cornwall goes untouched, from the great things in Cornwall to the less great things.  Join us for a one off night of laughs with the star of BAFTA winning Bait. 

Review by Jenni Balow

You a'right? Yeah, you? Yeah! Well, that's a relief, because an alternative response would be, well, unthinkable and even highly contagious in these parts of Cornwall.

Trust the Kernow King to put his pasty-pressing thumb right on the timeless Cornishness and guaranteed language of his many cousins in this part of the world, and what fun he has doing it!

This girt bearded stand-up giant of comedy had his sellout audience shaking with laughter from the off, as he roared, boomed, growled and guffawed in a strong Cornish dialect, through a list of some of the less good things about Cornwall he has collected on his tours.

The "less good" word was shorter and four-lettered as it left the lips of this Roche boy, and there were more than a few others of those too, or similar, but his outrageous observations are expressed with such disarming charm and more than a few Celtic endearments, we just couldn't take offence.

Speaking of which,Trago Mills might not be over impressed by the slating he gives the stores, but on a chill and gusty night, he briefly enjoyed the warmth of one of their 'bear' fleeces and a puppy-patterned cardie, before he broke the zip on one, and flung off the other, exclaiming that he loved Macsalvors.

Sadly, his first of only two nights at the Minack was cancelled in the face of a massive Atlantic storm, but there's talk of getting him back again.

No wonder. This Kernow King is mightily talented, and he's famous too, because he is the Newlyn fisherman star of Bait, the film that won huge acclaim worldwide, and best independent film awards everywhere from Poland to Portugal, plus a BAFTA for director Mark Jenkin and the team.

Internationally respected film critic Marc Kermode described it as "a genuine modern masterpiece".

The Kernow King, aka Ed Rowe, has also written and starred in his own play about miners, Hireth, and had another hit with the Simon Harvey directed play, Trevithick!  -  about one of the Duchy's most famous engineers.

He's Cornwall-obsessed alright - "it's the absolute best place" - and there's plenty that go along with that, including a Minack audience that was half made up of tourists (yes, he took a vote).

So, despite being a little bit rude about 'emits' he had a real go at those responsible for Cornwall's next biggest industry, the farmers, "trundling along with 700 cars behind them" during a hectic season on the roads.

It got even noisier when he described how a motor home towing a car with a roof box accelerates to be first in the line as the A30 shrinks from two-lanes to one, sparking Cornish comradeship as the locals bunch up and ask "where's he to"?

There was plenty of audience inter-action  - how else could he ask "you a'right" and how else could we say yeah! He is too!.