Simon Evans supporting Lee Mack

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Steve Bennett

Probably the most judgmental comedian on the circuit, Simon Evans has the haughty air of a tweed-clad landowner, settling into his battered but comfortable leather armchair, fine cognac in hand, ready to share his upper-middle-class prejudices with the other members of his exclusive gentleman's club.

That image is only reinforced when he opines, at length, on the British Northerner as if he were a member of a lost tribe discovered on a National Geographic expedition, with customs and physiology alien to London society.

It is, of course, all done with a juggernaut full of irony, the joke on him for being such as an out-of-touch old duffer, and there's a strong vein of self-deprecation running through his act.

The pace is suitably sedentary, which can mean you sometimes have to mind the sizeable gaps between punchlines, but the sarcasm-laden payoffs are almost always worth the wait.

The rate at which Evans's set evolves is similarly glacial, which perhaps explains why his aridly dry wit is not better known. Gags about his refined accent, his tiny eyes and the 'wind-stiffened nipples' of the average barely-clad Geordie girl on a night out are certainly delightful enough to bear revisiting, but their impact is certainly hardest felt on first hearing.

Evans always demonstrates a keen command of language to conjure up indelibly witty images, and is so sure of his high-status position, he's quite happy to slip a word like 'hegemony' into his set, without explanation.

It all makes for a rich, complex comedy designed to be savoured with delicate sips, rather than the sort of stand-up you guzzle for a quick hit of laughter.

Review date: 14 Jan 2010
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Andover The Lights

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