Stand-up comedy – so I’ve been told – is not easy. To get up in front of a couple of hundred random people and deliver 60 minutes of coherent, funny material takes a lot of skill. This is particularly true in a venue as intimate as The Stand. But to perform brilliantly witty songs; adopt a half-dozen personas convincingly; and make stories both touching and hilarious is what makes Phill Jupitus far more than just ‘that bloke off Never Mind the Buzzcocks and QI.’
Jupitus starts off with a couple of songs of his own. The first of these has the surrealism of Bill Bailey’s ‘Disenfranchised Owl’ with the kick of a Frank Turner hit. This was a surprising beginning, but one that worked well and will hopefully appear more in the future.
From here, a selection of wonderfully pithy segments, replete with – sometimes painfully accurate – vocal sound effects make for a thoroughly enjoyable show.
Jupitus is keenly able to cater for his audience, from the graphic details of the true Scottish chippie experience, through to his first ever performance in front of a Glaswegian crowd. Arguably, this tactic is less effective at the Fringe with the cosmopolitan audiences it attracts (I had Lancastrians, Yorkshiremen and southerners in earshot) but the reaction to his sets clearly showed it was well received nonetheless.
Even when something goes wrong, Jupitus turns it to his advantage. Transforming a misspoken word into its own two-minute skit is one way he shows his versatility with the art.
The coup-de-grace of the performance must be the final segment – a sequel to his well-known Apollo skit about his eldest daughter – which manages to be both daft and poignant. If you’re after a loud and adult, but intelligent and original stand-up show to see, there is no better way to spend your afternoon than with Phill Jupitus.
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