Reviewer: Tracey Lowe
Good old loveable misanthrope Jon Richardson. Now a regular fixture on our television screens, he can always be relied upon to see potential misery in any given situation. It’s slightly odd that a comedian with such an apparent negative opinion of the general public draws such large crowds. But draw he does, with a three-night run at the Lowry’s largest theatre space. Like Jack Dee before him, it seems that misery really does love company.
Nidiot is a slight departure from Richardson’s usual “first world problems” rants, as this show is about how he accidently became happy. Through encountering terrifying cowboys, becoming vegetarian, having unexpected fun on a speedboat, and eventually meeting a potential mate, Richardson has discovered that sometimes taking a chance on something doesn’t have to end in despair and dismay.
Richardson has very much stuck to his self-deprecating style, constantly mocking his own voice and general awkwardness. More than ever, he seems incredibly relaxed in front of the audience. The show has a definite structure, but never feels forced. Even when he is distracted mid-routine to seek out an audience member called Geoff, Richardson gets back on course with ease. He is a wonderful storyteller, with an “impressive” array of accents.
As with most comedians, the funniest moments come when Richardson is thrown slightly off-course by his own ramblings. By his own admission, he sometimes needs to remind himself he is actually in front of an audience (and a considerably large one at that). He revels in his oddness, and his ability to mock himself endears the audience to him greatly. Some of his cruder stories, such as his dreams of outdoor onanism, would seem disgusting coming from some other comics. However, Richardson has a strange gift of making even the most revolting things seem somewhat enchanting.
The one thing this reviewer has come to expect of Jon Richardson is a high level of quality from his stand-up shows. With a two-hour performance that never wavered, Richardson evidently gives his material the same level of attention he gives to maintaining the order of his cutlery draw. In a scene that contains a lot of lazy, derivative chancers, it’s great to know we have at least one comedian we can rely on to deliver the goods every time.
Reviewed on 30th May 2014