Reviewer: Seb Farrell
Fame, as a society we’re fixated by it, we spend millions of pounds on inane celebrity gossip magazines, indulge hours of our time watching overly emotional youngsters desperately pursuing it and now have the capacity to follow our favourite celebrities on social media sites such as twitter, which is under the microscope on more than one occasion throughout the evening.
Baddiel has his own unique views on the subject and talks honestly and openly about what fame is really like as an idea and from his own personal inside perspective of ‘being slightly famous but not as much as I was’. Fame: Not The Musical is Baddiel’s first stand up tour for 15 years and this is his first night on that tour, showing no sign of nerves whatsoever he shares his standpoint on the subject of celebrity and fame for just over an hour and a half with all the confidence of the seasoned professional he is.
It’s easy to associate Baddiel with his comedic partners Rob Newman and Frank Skinner and forget he is an established, smart and well-respected comedian, writer and presenter in his own right.
The evening has more than a whiff of academia as well as comedy; it’s well researched, structured and effortlessly delivered encompassing a PowerPoint presentation similar to the recently popular TED talks which allows Baddiel to share pictures, screenshots and videos which garner most of the big belly laughs throughout the show. It’s a popular method seemingly for comedians nowadays and is used effectively from the first slides showing his Twitter trolls responding and demonising celebrities to the last strangely moving video of his daughter.
The comedy comes thick and fast from accidentally stealing the spotlight at Russell Brand and Katy Perry’s wedding to realising Andrew Lloyd Webber thinking he’s Ben Elton, David Baddiel scrutinises his strange relationship with fame and persona he’s co-existed with for over 20 years without sounding to showbizzy or self indulgent, it is legitimately interesting. The laughs are peppered with genuinely thought provoking ideas and quotes from the likes of John Updike which leave you also feeling both elated and bizarrely educated.
This reviewer is not the biggest fan of comedy encores but it does give an opportunity for the comic to relax and perhaps try new material which is what Baddiel, the UK’s sixth sexiest Jew (so we’re informed) shares and the results are excellent, material which would not have looked out of place in the main set and will, no doubt, be incorporated throughout the rest of the tour, I would strongly suggest getting yourself a ticket to one of the dates.
Saying he’ll best be remembered after his death for writing Three Lions I think it best to summarise tonight’s big come back show by quoting another football themed song by seminal performers Ant and Dec by saying that Baddiel proves he is very much still ‘on the ball’.
Reviewed on 31st January 2014