Review: Lee Mack, Royal Court, December 2

By Vicky Anderson on Dec 5, 07 11:10 AM

IT was the last night of Lee Mack’s latest extensive tour, and, somewhat genuinely it seemed, one for him to remember…

The Southport comic started out strong and kept it up for an energetic and enthusiastic set crammed with mighty material from start to finish, incorporating top class scripted gags (as the writer of the sitcom Not Going Out, it’s Mack’s forte) razor sharp improv, and the kind of heckler put-downs that could make you weep for joy.

He bounds on stage to a Franz Ferdinand track, which led to an excellent routine about trying to get a party atmosphere going to the soundtrack of a band named after an historical figure whose assassination led to the death and destruction of two World Wars. From then on in, it’s non-stop, frantic absurdity, old -school silliness delivered with alternative vigour (read: “lots of f and c words?).

Mack takes the mick out of Scousers and makes more Liverpool jokes than would usually be tolerable, but as a local lad it’s more than just a lazy device and he comes up with some witty and memorable observations on the accent.

Gags like: “My wife’s carrying our first child – aw…. he’s eight, he’s just lazy? and “I wanted a baby, but not for about five years - the wife wanted to keep them forever? were simple and hilarious. But Mack really steps into the bear pit for his encore, where he will just walk back on stage and ask “any questions??

It’s got to be a brave soul willing to do that. He was perplexed by requests for gags he had performed on TV over the weekend, saying he wanted the show to be all new material, but eventually obliges.

“You’re the mentalest audience of the tour?, he ponders good-naturedly near the end. “Don’t call that a compliment...?

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