Tuesday, October 19

Frank Skinner: Showbiz

- September 22, 2021

After nearly two years starved of live entertainment Saturday night was exactly what was needed. A solid reminder of how much an evening of well constructed comedy and can lift the spirits. Okay, I know that there was plenty of comedy around during the pandemic, some of it provided by the inexcusable antics of the government and their crazy strings of excuses. Maybe I shouldn’t have been laughing at that but one needed some relief from the interminable gloom of lockdown and the BBC’s coverage of the same.

On Saturday night at Brighton Dome to a packed room we were treated to the warmest of comedy acts. Skinner is as sharp as ever, the wit is incisive to be sure but it is his delivery that makes the difference. Of course there is still that sense of dissatisfaction with life and the state of the world, there is his disbelief in the behaviour of others and to be fair in his self, but there is no sense of anger or at least the delivery is without anger. Where other comedians deliver with venom Skinner is calm and resigned to the failings of the world around him and the way he is placed in that world.

And the audience loved this, his interaction with a young guy in the front row was gentle, almost apologetic and his retorts to the occasional heckle were polite in delivery even when brutal in sentiment.

The material is for the most part personal, his attitude to his own relationships, both familial and with his public, and there is respect there too, he is charmingly forgiving as he lopes across the stage head bowed as if in thought.

The calm and gentle delivery of this acclaimed sell-out tour hit exactly the right note, perhaps we have all had enough of being cross about the state of the world at large and were happy to share in this comedy master’s musings on the simpler things in life, bus travel, family, fame and fortune, pornography and getting older.

Having failed to get a ticket to see this in Edinburgh 2019 I am thrilled to have finally seen Frank Skinner’s brilliantly constructed and mature performance.

Andrew Kay

18 September

Dome Concert Hall, Brighton

Rating: ★★★★★

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