COMEDY REVIEW: Phill Jupitus @ The Witham (21.4.18) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Due to his regular appearances on the likes of QI and Never Mind the Buzzcocks, nearly everybody is familiar with the panel show TV persona of Phill Jupitus.

Perhaps less well-known, however, are some of the talents he exhibits at the Witham this evening. A capacity crowd are treated to a mixture of clever poems (in the guise of alter-ego and support act Porky the Poet), witty songs (‘Owls are Bastards’ is a real hoot) and engaging storytelling – not to mention some very impressive Tunnocks teacakes-throwing skills to disperse boxes of them among audience members in the interval. Phill’s poetry is particularly remarkable, with highlights being ‘The Fly on Your Wall’ and ‘They’ve All Grown Up in the Beano’, while tonight’s ramblings on life enlighten us on why he sent his daughter Molly a sombrero for her 25th birthday and the chaos that ensued when he was awarded an honorary degree by Kent University.

Rather than going for the big laugh-out-loud punchlines favoured by of some of his contemporaries, Jupitus prefers extended observational tales littered with amusing anecdotes. These occasionally verge on being a little over-lengthy but you certainly can’t fault the detail and the hard work he puts into the show, or the time he spends meeting the crowd during the intermission and afterwards.

There’s also much amusement as Phill ruminates on the logic behind Channel 4’s decision to choose “the other” Buzzcocks team captain – “the Joan Jett lookalike in the silver cape” – to front the latest series of the Great British Bake Off, during which he also demonstrates his unnervingly accurate Sandi Toksvig impression.

While there’s nothing overly innovative about this evening’s material, it certainly covers a wide range of topics and Jupitus comes across as a hugely likeable and witty raconteur with whom it’s a real pleasure to spend an evening.

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