Frank Skinner at Latitude | Gig review by Steve Bennett
review star review star review star review half star review blank star

Frank Skinner at Latitude

Gig review by Steve Bennett

Frank Skinner is amused to find himself playing a music festival at 62, likening his longevity to ‘seeing a wasp in November’.

It is, admittedly, an age when some performers might start slipping into cosy anecdotage. And he’s not entirely immune from that, with plenty routines likely to form part of his forthcoming tour since they come under its title of Showbiz. There’s a gossipy story that might dent Bruce Forsyth’s image, a great heckler tale involving a pre-Gogglebox Laurence Fox in a serious play, and a bit of wonderfully arcane celebrity trivia about Bob Dylan

This last one comes in a routine that starts ‘I went to Elton John’s villa in Nice...’ – a none-too subtle reminder that for all his everyman credentials, Skinner isn’t QUITE like the rest of us. When he begins another gag, ‘I was on the bus…’, you want to reply: ‘No you weren’t.’ Not this century, at least.

Later he does have a bit of fun with the fact that he’s done all right for himself, cheekily boasting about the size of his house. But even here, he’s not the winner of the story, since his advancing years has given him plenty of aches and pains to gripe about. He increasingly finds he cannot trust his body. 

Skinner first built his reputation back in the early 1990s for speaking honestly about sex, being graphic but never gratuitous. Today he deploys the same sensibilities to talk about wiping his arse. How times have changed.

Being so long in the game, and with little to prove, Skinner is, of course, relaxed on stage. There’s no urgency to belt out a punchy gag every minute, and he digresses and bimbles his way through unconnected material.

However, the casual, underplayed matter-of-factness is part of his appeal, making it seem almost accidental when he stumbles on a great phrase he’s clearly written. A few months out from the start of his tour, he’s still perhaps a bit too loose, but there’s still more than a little sting in this ageing wasp yet.

Review date: 22 Jul 2019
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Latitude

What do you think?

Today's comedy-on demand picks


A new weekly round-up of some of the most memorable performances from the most boisterous, if not downright aggressive, gigs in Edinburgh. Dara O Briain, Daniel Kitson, Jimmy Carr, Katherine Ryan, Flight of the Concords, Tom Allen, Dane Baptiste, Aisling Bea and Adam Hills are among those who will feature in the weekly shows, which will be on YouTube at 9pm on Saturdays throughout August

Click for more suggestions
... including anothe Edinburgh Frigne stand-in gig, Comedy In The Meantime and the new semi-improvised animated series Loafy.

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.