Reviewer: Matt Forrest
Instantly there is an amiable charm to Joe Lycett, which is a good job, as some of the material is very close to the bone. With a delivery closely resembling a smiling assassin, you don’t know whether to laugh or feel sorry for the targets of Lycett’s caustic wit.
Appearances on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and Live at the Apollo have enhanced Lycett’s profile, leading to a sell out run at this year’s Edinburgh fringe festival, and now he brings this critically acclaimed headlining show, That’s the way A-Ha A-Ha, Joe Lycett to The Lowry, treating the audience to a comedy which effortlessly bounces between ludicrous and personal.
The moment Lycett comes on stage, he instantly sets about building a rapport with the audience, working the room and creating an easy going, fun atmosphere; it perfectly sets the tone for the proceeding 90 minutes of comedy. Introducing the warm-up act, Karen Bayley provides an insight into the world of a single ‘cougar’. Bayley does well to show case her talent in such a short space of time, a rather vulgar gag about a fridge being the pick of the bunch.
Lycett is back out and launches straight into a routine about packing tickets and how the use of the internet and a lot of spare time can lead to success when avoiding paying a fine. This provides the platform for the second half of the show as Lycett uses Twitter and Instagram to great comic affect. Audience participation is encouraged for the interval, as we are asked to take to twitter and tweet some comic place names.
There is no theme to the show; just a series of well observed musings and anecdotes which include the joys of Cheryl Ferandez-Versini’s Instagram account, and the best way to deal with a troublesome post office worker. It is when Lycett is at his most scathing when he is at his best. The sassy and at times cruel quips are delivered with such charm and playfulness that they mask how brutal they are.
The final section is dedicated to the trials and tribulations of dealing with a testosterone-fuelled bully on a stag-do, as well as his own bisexuality, showing the personal nature of the show and proving Lycett is equally adept dealing with issues close to his heart as well the frivolous and the absurd.
Lycett is fully in-tune with his audience, and has crafted a show which feels inclusive and polished. He has a confidence in his material which shines through in his performance. As the tour is in its infancy it will only get better and is definitely worth a watch.
Reviewed on 27 September 2015