Reviewer: Iain Sykes
Away from their public personas, one might imagine that The Two Mikes have perfectly normal, decent lives. Or at the very least, even allowing for the reputation of excess fairly or unfairly attributed to Fleet Street journalists of a certain generation, perhaps not quite be the monsters they create for themselves either on air, during their regular slots on the TalkSPORT radio station or now in the stage version of their partnership, also called The Two Mikes.
For the uninitiated, the two Mikes are Mike Parry and Mike Graham, both former tabloid reporters who do live up to the hard drinking, hard living ruthless reputation of that profession. Live on stage they polish off at least two (with the very strong suggestion of even more pre-show) bottles of wine during the evening of merciless banter and abuse directed at each other from subjects as far ranging as whose sexual prowess is greater and whose lifestyle leads to the largest waistline. And, as far as the content of the show goes, that is it, just the two of them, sitting there, insulting each other.
This may be, as Mike Parry might say “a bit harsh” but this really is an x-rated extension of their, by comparison, tame radio appearances. And the louder the insult, the bluer the language, the more the large, predominantly male audience loves it. The Two Mikes know their audience well and make every effort not to disappoint. Subtlety definitely isn’t on the menu here but these guys are trading on their hard earned reputation and the crowd knows what to expect. Even when things threaten to raise themselves to something more than base level, Parry’s tales of underhand methods of breaking into celebrity homes or his time under fire in the Middle East are treated with such irreverence that things are soon dragged back to earth as the bar room boasting, bragging and one-upmanship of two former hacks.
The Two Mikes live on stage may not be to everybody’s taste. The level barely raises itself above the gutter and the language is definitely post-watershed, but when they can attract a full audience who lap up every word and respond to every insult as if they’re watching a gladiatorial event, then as far as the crowd is concerned, as evenings such as this go, it’s obviously a winner.
Reviewed on 27th June 2015