COMEDY REVIEW: Joe Lycett, Bethany Black @ The Globe, Stockton (29.04.22) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Arriving onstage in a glorious floral jumpsuit, Joe Lycett immediately wins over the Stockton crowd by praising the beautiful Globe venue. After running through a few observations he then introduces support act Bethany Black, whose short but charming set about her agoraphobia, search for a flatmate and resulting relationship manages to be both deeply personal and extremely funny.

Lycett then reappears to regale us with the story of how he became an accidental (and not altogether successful) Instagram influencer for Sodastream, warning us that this part of the show is probably the most vulgar. While he’s far from the crudest comedian out there, it’s still amusing to imagine that anyone who came along to see that nice young man from the sewing show is probably now sitting open-mouthed throughout this particular segment.

Regardless, Lycett comes across as a genuinely decent person who wants to make an impact by doing some good in the world – albeit via the medium of pranks. It’s this idea which forms the second half of the evening as he tells us about a stunt he’s been working on for the last three years involving many people, aliases, his local community, and even trolling Alan Sugar and Manchester Art Gallery. Lycett’s particular strength is his ability to mix intelligent eloquence with sheer silliness that makes you laugh out loud. And while I’m unable to give away any more information due to him swearing the audience to secrecy, it culminates in a final reveal that Derren Brown would be proud of, and a genuinely lovely ending that results in a standing ovation. But don’t just take my word for it – he has more North East dates to come, including Newcastle’s Utilita Arena on Wednesday 21st September, so go along and see him for yourself.

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