With plenty of Midlands references thrown into a heady mix of cheekiness, witty anecdotes and sublime stand-up, the latest outing from Birmingham-based comic Joe Lycett was a confirmed hit. Continuing his run of pun-based show titles, I’m About to Lose Control and I Think Joe Lycett signalled Lycett is definitely a force to be reckoned with.
Before that, though, was a set from support act Colin Hoult in the guise of his actress/starlet character, Anna Mann. Risque jokes abound, with a handful of inspired lines, but the overall impression was of the same type of gags being hammered into the ground, though it’s easy to imagine that this character would work better across a full-length show.
The affable, self-effacing Lycett rarely delves into hard-hitting subjects but the topics he covered here were impressively wide-ranging, from celebrity culture to sexuality, and from his relationship with his parents to his penchant for pranks. The latter is a staple of his shows, where emails and tweets tackle minor (and more major) irritations with delightful results. It was all recounted with such a gleeful, mischievous glint that it brought a raft of big laughs.
That highlighted an interesting idea of Lycett’s act as a product of the internet, with so much of his material stemming from things people have said – or things that he’d done – online, and so it’s almost fitting that the structure of this show was a number of stories and thoughts without a unifying theme. What made this show stand out, though, was his impressive and uncanny ability to wring incredible humour from the quirky minutiae of his life, and subsequently turn it into a spectacularly enjoyable set.
Such playful stand-up, delivered with a twinkle in the eye and tongue firmly in cheek, was a winner with the audience. It looks like Lycett’s profile will continue to rise and, on this evidence, it’s richly deserved.