Saturday, 1 January 2011

Ricky Tomlinson Stand Up Review

This is a review I wrote at the beginning of 2010.

Tomlinson & his holey top
Imagine the funniest thing that has ever happened to you, and when I say funny I mean, tears, buckets of tears. The type of laugher that you want it to stop because it starts to hurt; you clutch your sides and try to adopt the slow breathing technique to calm yourself down.  When you finally stop it’s a huge relief but such a good feeling, the best feeling.

Ricky Tomlinson. Comedy Stand-Up Live. Oxford, 19th March 2010 was NOTHING like that. Let’s take the ‘comedy’ out of the previous sentence. Picture this, a fat greasy grey haired old bloke with an inside-out vest top with three holes in it, bingo wings galore and even worse when he’d itch his belly through the vest hole.

Now imagine a second thing for me. Imagine a particular person; we ALL know someone like this, the person that attempts to contribute to group jokes yet fails miserably. The ones that tell one long winded story, name dropping along the way, you’re looking at your friends, raising eyebrows, waiting, waiting for them to reach the end, and finally after too much anticipation you think ‘Well this better be good, I better get a laugh’, instead you’re disappointed. Eyes roll, sympathetic smiles are exchanged the crowds disperse. Imagine this, but with THREE people in an hour and a half (oh and not forgetting the singing) – and people question why we left in the interval!

Three men: Number one, mentioned already, fat, greasy, dirty, no more need be said – Number Two, fat, wearing a over bright over spangly gold jacket, wannabe Elvis, with a stomach that closely resembles a stuffed turkey – Number Three – less fat, wearing a suit, appearance slightly better, however I’ve seen more facial expressions on a potato. You may ask why my family paid for this – after seeing The Royle Family we assumed the bloke known for his catchphrase ‘MY ARRSEEE’ would be funny, I mean who wouldn’t assume we’d have a good night out.

Second row, my Dad’s shoulder was looking more and more comfy as the show went on, my eyes started to drop and my mind drifted off into wondering what it would be like watching a real comedian, how about a bit of McIntyre, Boyle, Carr or O’Brien. Actually, my Dad could’ve done a better job and that’s saying something! When bloke number three (their names, I couldn’t tell you if I tried) began to sing Mack The Knife nostalgia set in of far away past times of my Dad singing karaoke. It was as embarrassing back then as it would be now, so I’m very shocked in admitting that I’d have happily clapped, screamed and hollered my Dad onto the stage to grab the mic and sing his heart out, and actually enjoy it.

“I said, he said, I said, he said, punch line” – after about five minutes I couldn’t care less what he said, she said, anyone said. And then referring to speaking to his Dad and Grandad – let’s bear in mind bloke three looked about 70 with a balding grey head and Botox of regular use to him. If his Grandad was still alive he’d probably be about 120, surely the OLDEST MAN ON EARTH?! Wow now that’s a claim to fame! Throw in some jokes about bloke two (about 60) talking about sex, grabbing his groin and making facial expressions that resembled someone trying to gurn. Oh now that’s a fat disgusting accident waiting to happen – shall we just lock them both in a sound proof room and chuck away the key?

How did we get through it you may ask? Well after waiting for punch lines that never came, cringing at the atrocious and somewhat disgusting sexual comments (yes, sexual comments made by old fat men, and my brother and step brother sat next to me, not knowing what the hell was going on) no wonder we made a break for it. Although not before the five of us exchanged glances between us, my Dad laughing loudly and very sarcastically while making comments such as ‘This is f*****g terrible, oh myyyy goddd” (oh and that wasn’t quiet either)

At one point I was so bored I got transfixed by watching my Dad shuffle the tickets in his hands, I had more interest in pieces of paper than I did with an actual human being (if that’s what you’d call them) However, we can’t leave out the best part of the night, a part that was truly comedy gold that only my Dad noticed:
My step-mum (the one that booked the tickets, nah we won’t hold it against her) attempted to lean towards my Dad and hold his hand, however this dramatically failed as she got her arm wedged between the seats, ended up head butting my Dad and trying to prise her arm from the seat, without making a scene. I felt the ricochet of her movement across the seats and simply assumed she was having a tantrum, the type children have when they don’t like something and they slump their bodies down and stamp their feet (well it might’ve been a bit of that as well) Oh and yes she did finally get her arm back, luckily otherwise we’d be stuck there all night.

Let’s just say, the interval could’ve come sooner. While listening to bloke three sing ‘That’s Life’ I tried to imagine Michael Buble singing it in my head, now that I’d have paid to see. Tomlinson came back on in his dirty attire walked off stage muttering ‘Interval, back in 20 minutes’, lack of enthusiasm from him means lack of enthusiasm from us so we legged it. Obviously in a graceful fashion, us leaving with our dignity and wearing clothes with no holes, him going back to bore more people with his endless stories with no real joke or conclusion. Oh there were some people that laughed, one woman in particular directly behind us, screeching and cackling – we reckon she was paid. Wouldn’t surprise me at all!

So all in all, the worst thing we’ve ever been to, well it must’ve been seeing as the highlight was an arm getting stuck between some chairs, shuffling tickets and our exit. I think Tomlinson and his fat old partners need to re-think their profession, maybe go back to working somewhere where wearing a stained dirty holed vest would mean you’d fit in.

Oh one final thing – I’d highly advise you to NEVER see Ricky Tomlinson Stand-Up EVER. And I mean this as you would not want to waste any part of your life, I can’t get that hour and a half of my life back, but there’s hope for the rest of you.  The ONLY time where it would be advisable would be if you’re suffering from insomnia, doctor’s orders.