ComedyNorth WestReviewStand Up

The All-Star Stand-Up Tour – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Lauren Maughan

Four times the number of comedians, should equal four times the number of laughs, right? In this case, maybe not. All the ingredients were there for the perfect show: four big comedic names that you would see on the TV, a magician, some props and even a bit of kung-fu fighting. But can all the hype and big names make the perfect comedy recipe?

The All-Star Stand-Up Tour features Mock The Week star Gary Delaney (also known as Sarah Millican’s other half), The Magicians’ Pete Firman who combines jokes with tricks, Sean Hughes of Never Mind the Buzzcocks fame, and the whole show is brought together by New Zeland comic Jarred Christmas.

Christmas is the host and compare for the evening. And he does a great job. He interacts with the audience, tells us some funny stories and even pulls out some taekwondo moves. His personality shines through on stage, and he does a great Geordie impression!

The next act to take to the stage is Delaney. He’s comedic style is very different to Christmas’. It’s much more structured and full of witty one-liners. He even gives Tim Vine a run for his money. Delaney’s dry sense of humour and delivery proves his comedic status. The one about filling up his escort with diesel, the one where he sings his own version of the proclaimers, and the one where he tells a bit of a blue joke – they’re all good, they’re all funny, and he gets a great reception from the crowd.

From one-liners to magical wonders of Firman. Firman’s got a great stage presence. As soon as he comes on stage he has the audience in the palm of his hands and everyone’s eagerly awaiting what he will do next. A magician is often a stage man, but very rarely a funny man too. Firman’s got the lot. However, although his tricks are far more impressive than what the average person can do, they also don’t blow your mind either. Nevertheless he includes the audience and we’re stunned at the end of his act how he managed to pull Liam’s tenner from his wallet. Firman livens up the audience and everyone’s geared up as we break for the interval.

Back in our seats after the break and we’re ready for the second half. Christmas has a longer set this time and he tells us about his battles with being a parent. From pretending to pleasure a dog under the dinner table with the other school parents, to jumping in puddles with his little girl – its’ all in there. Even a bit of blue!

The final act of the night is Hughes. Maybe as one of the most recognisable comedians of the four-some, he has a lot to live up to. Hughes comes on stage, interacts with the audience and it’s clear he’s done his research on Manchester and Salford. Hughes tells us of the trials and tribulations of being a middle aged man. The musical he puts together is a particular hit. However, he doesn’t’ quite live up to the energy level of some of the other comedians that preceded him on the evening.

The night comes to a close with some audience participation. If you’re going to watch the show, make sure you think of a funny joke because there’s a prize at the end for the winner. Salford’s winning choice; a joke about diarrhoea!During the show where the whole “cast” come together on stage, iswhere their collective comedy genius really comes into play – the show needs more of this.

If you head to see the All-Star Stand-Up Tour it’s likely you’ll have a laugh. There’s a wide variety of comedic styles, and some magic thrown in there too. But it’ll be Delany’s one-liners that you’ll be reciting on the way home.

The show is on tour and runs until 21 May 2016


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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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