Tag Archives: Stewart Lee

Liam Williams – Live

7 Mar

Liam

Komedia: Monday, March 3 2014

Deadpan and “mildly depressed” Yorkshireman Liam Williams doesn’t seem the type to revel in adulation, but really fella, take a bow. With the TV jam-packed with comedy panel shows featuring a parade of brash, breezy and increasingly banal “bright young things”, Williams is the perfect antidote.

This routine, “just called Liam Williams because I couldn’t think of any witty puns on my name,” earned him a best newcomer nomination at last year’s Edinburgh Festival. And it was immediately obvious why; he does dour and detached as well as Jack Dee and offbeat perception as precise as Stewart Lee – but what really set him apart was his lucid and at times lyrical language.

His poetic prose – perfectly contrasted by his knowing, flat-vowelled delivery – seamlessly flowed through the set as he mused on his “lazy life as a semi-professional comedian” and his “lower middle class upbringing”.

Crucially, despite his linguistic panache, it never strayed into clever dick territory; for every mention of Plath there was a nod to Nuts magazine, for every angst-fuelled reading from his unpublished novel (a Catcher in the Rye parody) there was a withering run through Time Out’s top 10 weirdest date locations.

“My inner monologue is a cross between Philip Larkin and Hard-Fi,” he grumbled.

If it results in stand-up as sharp and as special as this, long may it continue.

Bridget Christie – Comedy Review

12 Oct

Brighton Comedy Festival: Komedia: Tuesday, October 9

“Misogyny and shiny leggings. Neither do women any favours.” It’s a decent line. And one of very few Bridget Christie delivered.

Everything about her show, War Donkey, from the acknowledgement she picked the name and was then unable to write much material about war, or donkeys, to the show’s ramshackle rhythm and rambling delivery was, to use the buzzword, an omnishambles.

The show was centred around four incidents that occurred on the same day and, for her, put women’s issues into sharp focus. One was a terribly misogynistic review that claimed she only got where she was because of who she slept with; Stewart Lee is her husband.

From these incidents stemmed impassioned rants about how government cuts disproportionately targeted women and the “normalisation” of pornography.

They were worthy topics, but there were barely any laughs to accompany the lectures, save for a clever quip about women taking the same “decluttering” approach to their genitalia as they do to interior design.

With the exception of a few people at the front, this performance got very few giggles or positive responses from the audience. And her insistence on banging on the microphone to mockingly check it was working when a joke didn’t get a reaction wasn’t the best way to overcome a shoddy routine. Writing better material would have helped, instead.

As someone who once earned a crust working for the Daily Mail, she of all people will know you can’t be nice to all of the people all of the time. And that’s putting it politely.

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