Wednesday 15 November 2023

STAND-UP COMEDY REVIEW: Mark Simmons: Quip Off The Mark - The Lyceum Theatre, Crewe.

Finally I have the chance to watch this comedian live! Third time lucky so they say, and that maxim proved to be true this evening, as it was indeed the third time I have tried to see him, obviously failing to do so on the first two occasions! However, I have to say, that I am extremely glad I persevered and finally made it, sine it was truly worth the wait!

Punsmiths are not everyone's cup of tea, but when they are executed with such skill, and they are clever, then who cannot enjoy them. (that's a rhetorical question!) Mark Simmons seems to be taking a space left vacant by the genre's elder statesmen such as Milton Jones, Tim Vine, and the sadly no-longer-on-the-circuit Stewart Francis. And if you enjoy any of these, then you will simply love Simmons. 

Simmons is quiet, self-effacing almost, and you really have to listen to him as e brings you into his somewhat surreal world. Standing on the Crewe Lyceum's stage, looking like a cross between Ed Sheeran and Shaggy from Scooby-Doo, the puns are almost non-stop. Even the moments of quiet are, we realise, just al part of a long elaborate joke. 

It has been a long time since I laughed so long and so hard in public. His callbacks and his final parting shot are simply genius! A very intelligent and cleverly constructed set, which even has no less than TWO puns in the title! I will certainly make time to see this comedian again.

Prior to Mark Simmons making his appearance after the interval (and performing non-stop for at least a whole hour), the first half of the evening was given over to a support comedian, Danny Ward. A very different style to Simmons, he talked about his age, the environment, shopping, DBS checks, gadgets, and Britain's Got Talent. He can be described as conversational and confrontational at one and the same time, and can come across as a little abrasive. His set lasted about half an hour.

Reviewer - Matthew Dougall
on - 11.11.23

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