sun 17/02/2019

Michael McIntyre, O2 Arena | reviews, news & interviews

Michael McIntyre, O2 Arena

Michael McIntyre, O2 Arena

Observational comic shows why he's Mr Popular

Michael McIntyre has a show you could take a youngster or your proverbial granny to

First a confession: I've never been a great fan of Michael McIntyre. He's a nice bloke for sure, works at his craft and is a slick performer with a huge following, both live and on television. Plus - and this is one of the best compliments I can pay to a stand-up because it's a difficult skill to pull off - he's one of the best MCs in the business. But I can't get past the feeling that some of his material, to borrow shamelessly from another context, has the whiff of previously used about it.

But that's my problem and, to judge from the packed house at the O2 Arena, not something that bothers his fans. Last night was the first date of his 10-night stint at the O2 and part of a long UK and Ireland arena tour (although McIntyre's number of dates is left standing by Peter Kay's mammoth run of arena gigs, which is possibly still going on somewhere in the world).

The strong opening section of Showtime is on the Olympics and includes a skit about dressage; there must be something in the air as Jason Byrne and Rhys Darby both have very funny material in their shows about the sport. McIntyre's take is that it's for gay horses, and here we see how physical a comic he is as he neatly underlines the gags with a lot of funny walks and facial expressions. He paces across the stage throughout the show and acts out various scenarios, putting on voices, many of them very camp - at one point I though he was channelling Russell Kane.

His observational comedy about everyday stuff often slips into the mundane

Much of McIntyre's mass appeal comes from his jolliness, and his willingness to make himself the fall guy in a joke. At one point he tells us he once milked the applause for an encore too long and by the time he had returned to the stage the venue was empty. He's ever smiling and the opposite of cutting edge - there's no social, still less political, commentary in his act - and despite the odd swearword, this is a show that you can take both a youngster or your proverbial granny to. He's a slick performer all right, but one who has worked hard at improving his stagecraft over the past few years. His callbacks - one of which provides the very neat ending to his show - work particularly well.

His observational comedy about everyday stuff, however, often slips into the mundane. Hotel shampoo bottles and milk jiggers, online booking and the manners of texting have been done to death by a thousand other comics and he doesn't have anything new to say about them in Showtime.

It's when McIntyre goes into slightly surreal mode that he slips into another gear. His imagining of how the royal family may have reacted to the sight of Grace Jones hula-hooping her way through the Jubilee concert is a gas and the last section, a tall tale about a visit to the dentist that went badly wrong, is an accomplished piece of writing and performing with which he sent his legion of fans home happy.

  • Michael McIntyre is at the O2, London SE10 until 6 October; then touring the UK and Ireland until 3 December
He's the opposite of cutting edge - there's no social, still less political, commentary in his act

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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Comments

"Sips into the mundane"? Sub-editor!

Well spotted. Now fixed. Thanks

like you could do any better, he is hilarious and you're a jealous journalist

Read the article again - the 'jealous' journalist agrees with you

Michael McIntyre is the funniest comedian out there!!! His DVD was entertaining, brilliant and funny !! Unnecessary critique given, his jokes are very well narrated, his applause is not 'milked' but long and deserved!

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