Micky Flanagan: What Chance Change?

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

Micky Flanagan is a one-man case study in social mobility. His CV, rising from Billingsgate fish porter to full-blown middle-class Kierkegaard-quoting ponce, mirrors the changing lifestyle of so much of society. As he races through the years, and the class strata, there’s sure to be something everyone can relate to.

It’s rather a belated Edinburgh debut for 44-year-old Flanagan, who’s well established as one of the more enjoyable, personable and cheerful acts on the circuit. The conflicts between his working-class roots and his current aspirations provide plenty of fodder for sharp gags with the ring of truth, and he knows how to tell them.

There are, indeed, lots of proper jokes in What Chance Change? In fact, it’s built entirely on the most efficient way of getting from one to the next, so the solid laughs keep coming as he pounds the punchlines.

Yet there’s also something missing. There’s not much drama or emotional attachment to Flanagan’s story, nothing other than a linear sequence of events from one year to the next. It’s possibly only battle-hardened critics who’ll see a comedy show that’s one laugh after another and complain that it’s not enough – punters looking for a no-frills fun time won’t go far wrong here.

Flanagan is a lovely performer. Part nice-but-dim cockney Herbert, part astute observer. His innocence, modesty and cheek wraps every comment in a warm, unthreatening charm, best illustrated by an amusing demonstration of his wooing techniques that’s daft rather never lascivious.

Flanagan’s got a couple of the funniest routines in the festival, especially one about asking for ketchup in posh restaurants which is not only hilarious, but fits beautifully with his theme of being stuck between classes.

All in all, it’s a mighty fine show, missing just one tiny element of extra drama to make it a great one.

Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

Review date: 1 Jan 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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