COMEDY REVIEW: Phil Wang, Pierre Novellie @ Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Newcastle (07.05.23) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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I don’t know if you’ve ever had a wank that predominantly admin…” may be one of the more harrowing sentences uttered on the stage of the prestigious Tyne Theatre & Opera House, as Phil Wang details the lengths he went through to maintain a sense of truth within his latest novel, Sidesplitter.

The anecdote joins the litany of self-effacing jibes the comedian throws in his own direction. While without any real sense of direction, the comedian’s latest tour, Wang In There Baby, was an apt opportunity for the comic to fire off on a myriad of silly tangents, covering everything from rice to nipples. The greatest asset of Wang’s stand-up is his ability to take risqué, arguably provocative discussions and turn them into something churlish and goofy. Where some routines could easily be seen as edgy or controversial, Wang keeps all the material friendly, aloof and approachable.

While the British Malaysian performer may not be delivering anything too interesting, unique or poignant, he knows his role in the circuit and delivers whimsical observations on British culture in a very gentle, albeit predictable way.

Cut from a similar cloth, South African support act Pierre Novellie provided an equally incisive perspective on British culture and predominantly our cuisine. He held the crowd beautifully, as his set became the perfect plug for his upcoming tour which drops into Newcastle’s Stand in October.

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