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Simon Evans: Friendly Fire – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Laura Ord


Simon EvansThe aloof, tweed wearing, Tory supporting Simon Evans is back at the Lowry with a hatred of football, the working class and even his own children.

After a slow introduction of how the show will be structured, Evans begins gently and speaks about the London Olympics 2012. He has a knack for storytelling and gets some good laughs from the offset, but almost a year on, this material is fast becoming too old.

Once he has warmed up his crowd, Evans gets stuck into one of the themes for the night – his poor opinions on the working class. Previously when he has appeared on Michael Mcintyre’s Comedy Roadshow, he has pulled off these jokes with his superior toffed-up persona because they came with a huge dollop of playful fun. Now however, the playfulness has gone as he explains without masquerading his true thoughts, how Saturday football matches were great because they would “suck out the poison” from the high street, allowing him to shop in peace. And this time, any sense of this being all in jest is completely lost.

But yet just like the ‘poison’ that he so evidently despises, Evans frequently resorts to base blue humour about swearing and sex to get him the laughs he craves which seems completely hypocritical.

Evans’ best material is the self deprecating stories, where he explains he is unable to do tasks around the house so they have to ‘get a man in’ or where his daughter finds his stash of pornography in the shed. For once in the set, he appears to acknowledge that he is just a man and not an aristocratic superior God. However, the superiority complex only wained for a few short minutes as he hits back with more insult about those who don’t read the classics.

Evans lost his way at the end, lecturing about the explorer Earnest Shackleton. There is not a joke in sight for a good five to ten minutes. Instead it is a self indulgent, look at how clever I am, rant which would be far better suited on the History Channel. And the punchline at the end is not worth the wait as you may not be awake to hear it.

Had this have been an ironic character that Evans was playing, and he had in fact been poking fun at himself the whole performance then this persona of arrogance and snobbery would have worked. However, what is clear from the outset is that this has gone. There is no reassuring wink to the audience – Evans is just a ‘lower’ class hating toff who thinks that his expanded vocabulary makes him better than the rest of us.

Reviewed on 5th May 2013

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