Shagged. Married. Annoyed. – The London Palladium

Reviewer: Sonny Waheed

Writers: Chris & Rosie Ramsey

The Ramseys take their chart busting podcast on tour in a show that offers little surprises, but delights fans and leaves the uninitiated bemused.

Comedian Chris and his wife, actor and performer Rosie are something of a phenomenon. Their Shagged. Married. Annoyed. (SMA) podcast started out as a way for the couple to get some alone-time away from the kids and has resulted in a chart-topping, award-winning show, a chart-topping book and now, a record-breaking live show.

In their podcast, the couple spend time comically talking and bickering about life, relationships, family, parenting, annoyances, and arguments. The live show takes this premise and tweaks it for a live audience. Instead of ‘eavesdropping’ on their alone time, they turn their banter and musings into a more performative conversation – talking to the audience, as well as one another.

The show kicks off with the couple mocking each other by commenting on a selection of their individual childhood photos that are beamed onto a huge screen at the back of the stage. This badinage delivers a highly effective double-whammy introduction to the show. It gives us a personal introduction and insight to both Chris and Rosie whilst clearly laying out the tone of the show.

From here, it’s a presentation of the greatest hits of their podcast – key features, stories and characters are revisited with an updated narrative, a bit like going back to an argument a week after it had been resolved. The first of these ‘hits’ is a feature called ‘What’s Your Beef?’ where they run through a list of particular gripes the have with one another. These are obviously well discussed subjects on the podcast, as each beef is heralded with a roar of approval from the audience. Rarely, if ever, have words like ‘snoring’, ‘lamps’, or ‘bike’ received such hoots of laughter and cheers.

And it is here that the show work or fails for you. If you know the show and get the in-jokes, then you’re in for a laughter filled, joyous ride. If, however, you’re new to all this, then you’ll be bemused and, except for a few jokes, be smile-free. The show is unashamedly aimed at their fans.

The Ramseys, it appears, have found a niche. They are relatively newly-weds with a young family. Their humour is based around their family life and taps into the same with the audience. This is a married couple airing out their gripes and grievances of their lot in life, and it resonates with those in the same situation. They are a couple in love who are comfortably, and lovingly, irritated with each other. Their revelations are a mirror to the thousands of similar relationships taking place in the audience and it’s that resonance that drives their success.

However, it’s the on-stage chemistry between Chris and Rosie that makes this work so well. Their playful bickering, jokes, and engagement with the audience is infectious. Moreover, both are exceptionally at home on the stage. The transfer from cocooned podcast to live performance appears to have been seamless. The presence of many thousands of cheering fans hasn’t impacted the intimacy or rapport they have with each other, rather it’s given them further dimension from which to engage with.

All said and done, and whilst there’s a fair bit to enjoy with SMA Live, this is a show for firmly aimed at fans of the podcast. Newbies will be entertained, but as with watching a feline TikTok video, you’re left thinking its pleasant enough, but you’ve no idea why.

Tours until 21 December 2021 including the O2 London Arena on 30 November 

The Reviews Hub Score

Fantastic fun, for fans

The Reviews Hub - London

The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. 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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