REVIEW: Andy Parsons and friends look back at a wild year for politics

Andy Parsons, David Trent and Laura Lexx, Christ's Hospital Theatre, Horsham, November 17

Saturday, 26th November 2016, 7:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 12:45 pm
Andy Parsons
Andy Parsons

It’s been a tumultuous year for politics and a particularly tough one for liberal types.

If those with left-of-centre views were disappointed by the Tories winning last year’s general election I’m sure many were devastated by the Brexit vote and the astonishing ascendency of The Donald.

So, a comedy evening with three politically tinged stand-ups seems particularly appealing at the moment.

Might as well have a laugh at a situation you can’t change.

This certainly seems to be the case at Christ’s Hospital Theatre, which is packed out for a night of Andy Parsons and Friends.

First up tonight is the least political of the bunch, the lightning fast compere Laura Lexx.

Don’t be fooled by this lady’s bubbly persona and seemingly scatty delivery, she’s got a razor sharp comedic mind.

There’s no particular theme to Laura’s act tonight — she talks about jobs, names, high heels and a little bit of feminism — but she offers frequently amazing improvised gags.

The best way I can describe Laura’s technique is this: She engages audience members in conversation, questioning, prodding and teasing them until they respond. Then, her brain finds the funniest thing she can come back with in a split second. That’s not to say every comeback is brilliant, but you’d be hard pressed to find a funnier response in such a short time-frame.

My advice is: don’t heckle this girl. Or do, but understand that in five seconds we’ll all be having a laugh at your expense.

Next up is David Trent, the polar opposite of Laura Lexx in his approach to comedy.

But not when it comes to laughter.

David’s vibrant, clever and well timed audio-visual presentation goes down a treat.

It’s an irreverent look at modern life (especially the internet) and its inherent complexity, using number-crunching, news footage, facts, figures and one particularly embarrassing holiday photo.

This stand-up’s political points — unsurprisingly left-leaning — are integrated almost seamlessly into the jokes, apart from a couple of moments that feel more like rants than routines.

And, depending on where you fall on the political spectrum, you’ll either smirk or roll your eyes.

The same could be said of Andy Parsons’ material.

I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan (and, yes, I’m on the right) but Andy gets a strong response from the Christ’s Hospital crowd.

His grumpy observations about Boris Johnson and Donald Trump are a bit trite but still funny.

And, admittedly, I do like the way Andy mixes petty irritants with big issues and puerile humour to create a sense of the grubbiness of our society.

Overall then, another fun comedy night from Christ’s Hospital and, if this is your last comedy show of 2016, an enjoyable way to round off an eventful year.

The next Christ’s Hospital comedy night is Russell Howard: Work In Progress on January 27, 2017.

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