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Seann Walsh: I'd Happily Punch Myself In The Face

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Steve Bennett

Seann Walsh looks destined to be a comedy star. Not only does he specialise in the sort of universal observational comedy that never goes out of style (or at least, not for long), he’s also damn good at it – and still only in his mid-twenties.

He looks a fair bit older, which he puts down to a hard booze and fag-filled life, but there’s also a maturity to both his performance and outlook. On stage he’s fluid and casual, his amiable, slightly ramshackle persona belying a keen eye for human foibles. It’s not just his shaggy hair that brings to mind a young Billy Connolly, but his whole natural demeanour.

Much of the material is seen through the prism of his own clumsy, scatterbrained personality – but everyone can relate to his litany of minor embarrassments and stress-inducing frustrations, from not knowing how to greet an acquaintance in the street to the etiquette of bus travel.

Observational stand-up is a difficult genre – certainly a lot harder than Walsh makes it look with his microscopic attention to detail, distinctive way of explaining himself and perfect physicality. This is a comic who can do several minutes on something as mundane as being a passenger in a car, and make it howlingly funny.

He’s especially strong when he gets to act out a routine, whether it’s the perfectly nuanced drunk trying to negotiate admission into a nightclub, to the commuter who can doze, standing up, on a London Tube.

Maybe one or two of his gags touch on familiar gripes, from replacement bus services to redundant health and safety warnings, but even so he adds a style of his own, perhaps flecked with touches of Michael McIntyre or Jerry Seinfeld.

It’s hard to think that anyone wouldn’t enjoy this show, whatever their age or viewpoint, so broad are the themes but so well-executed the material. He’s almost sure be huge, so say you saw him here – in an over-hot university broom cupboard – first.

Review date: 11 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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