ComedyNorth WestStand Up

Jasper Carrott and Alistair McGowan – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Matt Yeoman

Anybody who sees this show would be forgiven for thinking the cast is huge – with the talents of Alistair McGowan in the mix it is no surprise that anyone would think that this is a show of 100 voices. With Jasper Carrott performing in the same show, they might also be forgiven for feeling 20-30 years younger, watching a seasoned performer who flourishes on the stage with comedic flair, throwing them back into the 80s and 90s in a timeless manner.

For the audience, it is apparent that McGowan is going to focus on his sporting impression repertoire from the outset. He starts the night showcasing his comic impressions of a whole range of football managers, players and pundits, all of course exceptionally well-crafted. What separates McGowan from any other impressionist is on full display – his ability to create comedy from the parodies he creates, identifying the nuances of his ‘characters’ and exploiting them to full extent both vocally and physically. His manner and demeanour make the audience feel they are part of a conversation, part of a comedy show that is full of wit and humour. His performance towards the end of his set in which he displayed linguistic genius as the multi-lingual ‘Roger Federer’ is superb, definitely the highlight of his performance.

Of course, there were a few other more voices onshow, too, June Brown (Dot Cotton from EastEnders) is likened cleverly to Steptoe, and George Clarke’s experience of ‘amazing spaces’ brilliantly mocked. He is certainly worth an evening out at the theatre by himself, however, with Jasper Carrott too, the eveningis evenbetter.

Carrottexplains in his set that McGowan had persuaded him to do the tour and the audience were evidently not disappointed that he did. The last time he toured was back in 1998 and, as he explains in his performance, times have changed. Carrott’s humour is, as it always was, observational but, of course, his humour is not focused on the various ailments and troubles he suffers now he is in his ‘wiser’ years.

For the older generation who watched Carrott on Saturday evening television, they too can relate to the stories he tells. For the younger generation, it is amasterclassin how to tell a fantastic story. His recount of the visit to a special school for troubled youngsters is absolutely brilliant; he paints the images of the characters in his story so well that the audiencewerehowling with laughter. His complaints about political correctness lead to some brilliant, snappy one-liners that were truly the work of an experienced comic.

Anyone who has never experienced Jasper Carrott, either live or on television will not be disappointed by this show. Complete with his guitar, this Carrott is certainly not past his sell-by date.

Tours Until: 15December 2015 | Image: Contributed

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The North West team is under the editorship of John Roberts. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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