Monday, 23 July 2018

Chris Ramsey: Just Happy To Get Out Of The House - The Lowry Theatre, Salford.

Chris Ramsey is something of the TV personality these days but he has been a stand-up comedian for many more years. His strong North East accent gives away his Geordie roots but he lived in Manchester for many years as he tried to make his name in comedy. A sell out show at the Lyric Theatre at The Lowry is a far cry from the days of being heckled by the unforgiving audiences in the nearby clubs.

This was my first time seeing a Chris Ramsey show so I didn't really know what to expect.

The set was a little strange for a stand-up show - an inflatable house at the back of the stage with some lighting set up around it - the inflatable house was fully functional as Ramsey himself entered and exited via this door.

Before we got to see Ramsey, we heard him as he announced his support act, Carl Hutchinson, whom I believe has the regular support slot for Ramsey's tours - they were previously housemates when they lived in Manchester.

Hutchinson arrived on stage and had the same South Shields accent as Ramsey - in fact he was similar to Ramsey in many aspects which is probably the only criticism in what was a very entertaining show. I often think that support acts work in comedy shows when the first act does something different but Hutchinson is a Geordie observational comedian and although he is very good at it - that is exactly what Ramsey does.

The support slot was just about half an hour and this allowed Hutchinson to run through some of his best material - covering his new status as a homeowner and some brilliantly delivered material that involved him using ASDA while he was having a new bathroom installed. He is a very talented comedian and managed more than a few rounds of applause during his slot - he also managed to get a plug in for his own tour later this year where he is headlining a Sunday night at the Frog and Bucket which I imagine will tempt many people at tonight's show, including me.

After a short interval our main act Chris Ramsey took to the stage and before kicking into his main show, took the opportunity to chat to a few people on the front row. Ramsey landed very lucky on this night as he chatted to a guy drinking a cup of tea, at the gig on his own who had that very afternoon been at a drag show! I think that is the comedy equivalent of landing on your feet as Ramsey spent a good 10 minutes of improvised chat and fun with his new found friend.

The main bulk of Ramsey's show is about his own life and in particular his wife Rosie, who is seemingly a star in her own right with a very popular Instagram account, and his two and a half year old son Robin.

Ultimately Ramsey uses a fairly traditional method of citing arguments with his wife, with particular favourites covering the loading of their dishwasher and her general untidiness around the house. However, where Ramsey is clever is the way he sets up the jokes using very serious subjects of his recent need to make a will and his Dad being diagnosed with cancer - the comedic formula of using emotional situations to bring out laughs isn't new but Ramsey delivers this effortlessly.

The highlight of the show for me was Ramsey's stories about his son, and in particular the way he describes him as a calculated psychopath whom he is very much afraid of - even playing out the moment where he gets interviewed following his discovery as a serial killer!!

All in all the show was very entertaining and the audience left very happy. Both Ramsey and Hutchinson were in the foyer afterwards chatting to audience members and signing programmes which is always pleasing to see - they stayed for as long as people wanted to see them.

Reviewer - John Fish
on - 22/7/18

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