The Bill Murray, Islington
Our hero stumbles onto the stage with a pint, bundle of A4 with unkept hair and grey beard (Julian Assange has let himself go…..Father Abraham from The Smurfs has let himself go…..) for this hastily scheduled Work In Progress show for his Work In Progress show at the weekend. He later reveals that a visit to the doctors earlier that day produced an offer of ‘seated activities for the over 50s’ and the enquiry “have you got someone to look after you at home?”
In the autumn thru spring Stew will have his regular several month residency at the Leicester Square Theatre with ‘Snowflake-Tornado’ and some of the material from this first gig might well appear. So I’m not going to spoil it. An obscure reference garners a response which he hopes will also work in audiences of more than the 60 people crammed into this hot room at 6pm on a Friday in May.
His first sketches of a hour long comedy set are better than some stand ups entire career. Will be fascinating to see how it is honed and perfected between now and October but it went down a storm tonight with Stew wondering “what if this is the best this material ever goes in front of an audience?”
He ends with an ancient piece of material although being Stewart Lee he can’t help but bring his surreal edge to revisiting a comic idea. The whole set obviously has a nervous energy and spontaneity (both planned and genuine) with less of the pausing and chiding of the audience that we’re used to but that only adds to the intensity of the gag rate. Its a genuine treat to see an unpolished but still sparkling diamond this close up
BTW I am sufficiently knowledgeable about the art of comedy to review Stewart Lee but I know funny when I see it
Hardcore fans who happened to read an email quick enough to get tickets
It made me think..
Haven’t laughed til it hurt like that in ages. Those moments where you have to remember to breathe and just find yourself involuntarily physically convulsing from a comic idea – that’s magic