Arthur Smith

Unity Theatre Liverpool
April 28th 2011
Liverpool Comedy Festival

Reviewed by Michelle McKay

The title of Arthur Smith's one man show is "Exposed" and we most certainly were exposed to all manner of things unexpected! Rather than a laugh-out-loud gagfest (although there were many titters from the audience) it was more like "An Evening With..." and included music, poetry, and Arthur Smith's thoughts on many topics including his antipathy towards the next day's royal wedding, bankers, young people, Dave Cameron's smooth skin, Melvyn Bragg's hair, etc.

His talent for spontaneous comedy really came to the fore when a language teacher (who had been at parents evening) arrived 20 minutes late. My companion was convinced the teacher was a plant, as he almost stole the show when invited on stage later. Also, true to his "grumpy old man" persona on television, Arthur Smith requested the audience leave notes during the interval of things that annoyed us, which he later trawled through to great comic effect.

The highlight for me was an anecdote that he recounted from his autobiography My Name is Daphne Fairfax about when a schoolmate's shorts were thrown out the window. However, I wasn't impressed with the gratuitous female nudity (used to illustrate a sentence in his book) which was then repeated several times.

All in all it was an enjoyable evening entering the mindscape of a comedian who has been there, done it and got the near-death experience. I wonder what topical humour people seeing the show next week will be treated to? What would he make of being the same age as the (now deceased) Osama Bin Laden?!

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