The New Statesman – April 2007


By: Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran

Directed by: Jennie Darnell

Venue: Theatre Royal, Brighton

Date: Thursday 12th April 2007

Well, this doesn’t happen to us often. We actually left the show at the interval! I’d considered leaving even earlier and waiting for Steve outside, but I managed to hold on.

The problem was only partly with the material on stage. These jokes were pretty old, and although there were topical references, the usual stale punch lines were dragged out again for another trot round the circus ring. In many ways, this humour reminded me of Bernard Manning – much despised by the alternative comedians, but tonight his jokes wouldn’t have seemed out of place. We got the impression that at least half the audience were laughing with B’Stard, rather than at him – a works outing from the BNP, perhaps? And as Rik Mayall milked every slight mistake for all it was worth, redoing them as often as possible, it became more an evening of one man’s extempore comedic business than a political satire piece.

There were some decent laughs to be had, such as the comment by Condoleza Rice about plan B, but not enough to keep us there, given that the couple next to me were excessively twitchy all through the first half.  The prospect of another hour beside them was too appalling to contemplate, and as Steve wasn’t that keen either, we headed off early.

© 2007 Sheila Evans at

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