Saturday, 19 January 2019

REVIEW: Justin Moorhouse: Northern Joker - The Lowry Theatre, Salford.


Comedian, actor, dog walker, parent, self-confessed undercover vegan and Northern Joker Justin Moorhouse graced the Lowry Theatre on a freezing cold January evening to warm the cockles of our hearts with laughter.

Manchester-born Moorhouse is heading towards his 49th birthday in a home of grown-up children and changes in the world around him, and so has based his tour on his life experiences and what his future holds in hilarious anecdotes and his vision of future self. Moorhouse’s working life started off as a salesman but he quickly went on to pursue a career in stand-up comedy in the northern clubs such as the Comedy Store and the Frog And Bucket in Manchester city centre. Since his early days as a comedian Moorhouse has gone on to having a successful run in TV, theatre and radio and has starred in films such as ‘Looking For Eric’, appeared in several TV series like ‘Coronation Street’ and ‘Phoenix Nights’ and finally presented on Key 103 over the years making his life in the public eye quite varied. However he has become one of the most popular comedians on the comedy circuit as a stand-up performer and has a huge dedicated fan base on social media and tour followers.

The Northern Joker tour performances started with Justin Moorhouse doing a 20 minute slot to warm up the warm up act Dave Williams before the interval and after the break a final hour plus from Moorhouse himself with the total duration being just over 2 hours including the interval.

Moorhouse is notorious for getting to know his audience so sitting on the first few rows is a definitely ‘no no’ if you want to be invisible and not selected to be part of his shows focus, with his quick wit and ability to cleverly interact with his people he soon had the audience chuckling with him as the evening began.

This was the first night of his tour which made the evening even more exciting as Moorhouse took to the stage declaring “I’m fat not thick” as he held several conversations on being a vegan and the local area's history, Moorhouse clearly felt comfortable and relaxed in his hometown and certainly knew his stuff.

His support act was Dave Williams, 54years old originally from Barrow-in-Furness and now living in Didsbury Manchester. His act focused around his mother, sex, dating and keeping the magic alive in a relationship. Unfortunately his performance felt quite flat and never really picked up momentum allowing hecklers to interject leaving Williams a little off script and disjointed.

Finally after the break was the 'fabulous fella' himself and with an alcohol fuelled audience he had the auditorium in hysterics as we all properly belly-laughed with his perfectly timed and hilarious personal stories of life with a grown son and a teenage daughter, family meetings, truth cushion and holidays with the kids! I honestly don’t think I have laughed that much in many years as his stories hit home to every parent. With the uncertainty of the future and the world Moorhouse ended his performance with some insightful and meaningful messages to his audience with his main theme being the importance of laughter and living life to the full.

A great evening was had by all and I certainly left feeling much lighter in mood and continued to chuckle at his jokes as I drove home.
Verdict: A fabulous fun filled evening of laughter and feel good factor.

The tour continues until June ending in Chorley.

Reviewer - Katie Leicester
on - 18/1/19

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