Work in Progress
Michael McIntyre’s Work in Progress tour at City Varieties in Leeds, was very much that. A work in progress. But what I enjoyed most was that it revealed another side to McIntyre. We didn’t see the bouncy persona that he’s perfected for BBC Prime TV, with the big hair, giant set, fancy lights and celebrity guests…
…No, instead picture this:
*cue Stars in Their Eyes music*
“Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be… just a really funny man on stage”
*middle aged man walking out in the midst of smoke*
So no gimmicks. Just a really loud head mic and a teeny tiny stage. And I definitely preferred it!
He came out with his usual exuberance but less big, thankfully, as in a venue that small he may have terrified or deafened us. He must think City Varieties is a hobbit hole compared to the O2.
Immediately he began with silly jokes about the stage, steps and had a nice natter with the audience. So far so good. He went on to deliver a pretty solid first half hour of comedy, clearly stuff he’s refined over the past couple of months, touching on politics, the weather and family life. Very British and surprisingly topical.
The Second Part
Now the second half hour was slightly more, shall we say, creative? He constantly flicked from joke to joke, grasped his paper notes and randomly shouted out his next subject. It turned into a Ross Noble show but with a camper charm. His PPI joke was the only one I remember landing completely flat. He hadn’t found the ‘funny’ in it yet but more than that, his delivery was extremely shy, uncomfortable, reserved and all those types of words a comedian should never unintentionally be.
But as any gentleman would, he ended on a belly hurting joke about the utterly shocking Dubai heat.
He’s still got it
Overall I think this show only went to prove just how naturally funny Michael McIntyre is. Only half a show perfected yet the unfunny material was still funny. And I personally found the lack of narrative hilarious.
I will definitely be attending more ‘work in progress’ shows from now on. It’s like being in a pub with your mates, with that casual and relaxed atmosphere and lots of #bants. I look forward to seeing what makes the cut in his new tour and I do hope we were of some help…
See the tour dates here http://www.michaelmcintyre.co.uk/listings/