Michael McIntyre @ Nottingham Arena

Taking residence for three nights only at the Trent Arena, McIntyre skipped onto centre stage with his unique form of highly camped-up jovial humour. The self-proclaimed ‘chubby Chinaman’ of the comedy circuit has had an extraordinary year, appearing from nowhere and steamrolling through the stand-up circle. Following his ring-leader routine on ‘Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Road Show’, the comic returned to the one-man show, with a two hour timeslot to fill.

Serving up gags at a merciless rate, McIntyre stuck to his usual observational style, producing target-free humour with the contagiously cheery delivery we’ve come to expect. From the etiquette involved in towelling ones crotch, to the unspoken rivalries that occur at petrol-stations, McIntyre worked his way through some of the most eminent worries of modern times. The elaborate routine involved in trying out new shoes in Clarks, the joys of morning breath and the charade we take part in at restaurants (from the unnecessary bread and water routine through to the queer ritual of the post-desert, pre-sleep coffee) were all lovingly ridiculed.

McIntyre’s signature swine flu/Jacko gag (‘don’t you think it’s slightly ironic that Michael Jackson dies just as this look comes into fashion?’) was not forgotten. The highlight of the night however went to a slightly surreal skit in which the comic took on the role of his unused cupboard spices, voicing paprika and John West tuna amongst others.

Some continue to criticise the rampant commercialism inherent in McIntyre’s act, with many ‘tiring’ of his harmless tropes and inevitably demanding something a little more risqué. Yet, with over 8,000 fans filling the stadium and many happily forking out £60 for their very own McIntyre dressing gown, there’s no denying this comedian’s mass-pleasing talent. If you missed him the first time around, McIntyre will be finishing his whirlwind tour with a return to the Trent Arena on November 19th and his DVD will be ready just weeks later – Merry Christmas!

Charlotte Balnave


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