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This Show Won't Change Your Life (But It Will Make You Laugh)
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Tim FitzHigham: The Bard's Fool
Tim Minchin: Ready For This?
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Topical Scurvy: For Lunch
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Tim Minchin: Ready For This?
Looking for a good, old-fashioned stand-up comedian? Someone who delivers rib-tickliní one-liners without resorting to foul language? Someone who can entertain without relying on fancy lights, musical instruments and a hair-stylist? A blokesí bloke who knows how to tell a traditional British yarn? Fuck off.
Tim Minchin: Ready For This? on tour
Until his appearance on Jonathan Rossís show on Friday, Tim Minchin didnít have much in the way of mainstream exposure. How, then, did he defy the laws of marketing and sell out almost 10,000 seats over three nights at the Hammersmith Apollo?
The short answer is by putting on a bloody good show, bringing rockís overblown tongue-in-cheek histrionics to his virtuoso musical accomplishment. Barefoot, with skinny jeans and shock of mad-scientist hair, he certainly looks the part, while smoke, dramatic lighting and pyrotechnics Ė†both literal and in his performance Ė add to the sense of occasion. The man is, undoubtedly, a charismatic showman, as the near-unanimous standing ovation he earned attests.
But while heís a master of populist presentation, he has made fewer concessions in his sometimes forthright material. Who would have thought you could fill theatres with musings on the causation-correlation logical fallacy and a nine-and-a-half-minute jazz-backed beat poems in praise of reason? It shows you can make anything funny if you do it with enough style.
Debunking the irrational is a strong thread in this elegantly subversive and mischievously playful show, being recorded tonight for DVD. That poem, recounting an awkward dinner-party encounter with hippy chick called Storm, contains the most succinct, unarguable rejoinder to Ďalternative medicineí that you will find anywhere; where elsewhere he snipes at creationists and Christians, proudly wearing his atheism on his sleeve. Even the love song to his wife, If I Didnít Have You, takes all the mystique out of romance, wittily, subversively undermining it with logic.
He is, in short, a nerd. But probably the coolest nerd youíll meet. Heís disarmingly self-effacing about the gap between the confidence he gets from the music compared to the enthusiastic, but rather more shy, persona that he adopts when heís not behind the grand piano. He plays on this skilfully, able to get a laugh from a slightly too-choreographed flick of the hair, or failing to muster the enthusiasm for an obligatory rock-and-roll ĎYeah!í
There are strong elements of Victoria Wood in his musical style, and Bill Bailey in his personal one, mixed with a generous portion of Tom Lehrer. But Minchin has created his own niche. The songs are more than strong enough to stand up on their own, so itís a bonus when lines make you laugh out loud, which they frequently do.
Highlights are his beautifully bitter musical repost to an earlier bad review; the perennial classic parody of popstars turning into self-aggrandising eco-preachers, Canvas Bag and Bears Donít Dig On Dancing, which becomes an hilarious song-and-dance spectacle. Other songs such as Dark Side are more about mood than chuckles, while the joke in the anti-religious Good Book doesnít quite come off, despite its fine message.
But occasional moments in either stand-up and his song when the wit isnít as sharp as the ambition are irrelevant. This plays by musical theatre rules, where the aim is to create a vibrant show with catchy tunes and warm wit. For that, top marks.
Minchin shows his range Ė and his emotional pull Ė†with the encore number, White Wine In The Sun, a remarkably touching Christmas ballad for atheists, which contains not a sniff of a gag. He could so obviously direct his considerable talents in many directions Ė letís be thankful comedy is the one heís chosen.
|Date of live review: Monday 26th Oct, '09|
Review by Steve Bennett
Just realised my last comment here was the most spectacular failure of grammar ever. I really enjoyed the show. Oops.
"It's now the 7th time I've seen this show (this friday just gone) and it still never fails to disappoint." Misha Anker, October 2009. In which cast Misha I'd stop going to see it, if I don't like something once that's enough to stop me returning. This show is absolutely fantastic, seeing it in Edinburgh was one of the highlights of the festival for me.
Awesome. Thanks, Tim.
It's now the 7th time I've seen this show (this friday just gone) and it still never fails to disappoint.
I saw 'Ready For This' for the second time on Friday at the Hammersmith Apollo. From the 'original version' I saw in September 2008, this show has come on leaps and bounds and Tim should be really proud of what he has managed to achieve. The standing ovation on Friday's show is testament to this. Since his 'UK debut' in 2006, Tim has managed to achieve what takes many other comedians years to even aspire to be mildy likened too. Good work Mr Minchin, I say! I will certainly be booking my tickets for a third show for your next tour.
Hammersmith Apollo 24/10. Comic genius, left field humour, up there with Bailey, Izzard and Tom Lehrer. One of the funniest and clever comedians around. See him
Seem Tim Minchin tonight in Bournemouth - man is a genuis - best show I have seen in 20 years of comedy gig going + encore song truely beautiful. UNMISSABLE
I saw Tim Minchin for the 3rd time on Monday and I have to say he just keeps getting better. He has become the total package; the music, the lyrics, the voice, the stand up, the effects and the stage look were all spot on. his audience banter (previously the weakest element of the show)has become strong and witty without the feeling of attack common to certain comedians. The songs are, of course, fabulous bordering on genius. I'll be playing the cd a lot and hoping to get my hands on more tickets soon. This man has too much talent to take in all in one go.
I saw Tim in Brighton 3 nights ago. He was amazing! Absolutely 5* performance. I think he had a great mix of new material (I particularly loved Storm!), and my old favourites...Would DEFINITELY go to see him again.
I went to see Tim Minchin Live for the first time tonight in the Lowry, Manchester. He was amazing. I found myself thinking 'F*ck Bill Bailey' halfway thru lol. (dont worry - i know Bailey's a God) - but Minchin's found a special place in my heart tonight after a jaw-dropping performance. His timing and acting was outstanding, his vocals were completely tuned in, and the lighting and effects were brilliant. A little slow starting after the interval but WOW did he turn it around with the beat poem! Ironic, Hilarious and fantastically entertaining. I would definitely recommend it to anybody.
I have seen Tim Minchin twice now, lately performing Ready For This? Although slightly heartbroken he didn't perform some classics I really love his bare foot style. I have already booked tickets for his next London gig. Can't wait!
Best show I have ever seen, enough said!