For those expecting to see Simon Brodkin’s alter ego Lee Nelson burst onto the stage, a ball of energy delivering side-splitting humour, you might need to re-think your preconceptions. Lee Nelson appears on stage wearing a swishy suit, albeit with the security tag still attached, with a calm swagger. His jokes and banter with the audience are witty and he thinks on his feet well, but there’s no more than a ripple of laughter across the audience. For a man known for his hilarious interactions with audience members, brave pranks and generally being a bit wild, this show seems rather tame. Discussing childbirth, the NHS and politics, the show covers old ground often discussed by comedians of this ilk and there’s not much of an original spin on the material. I had hoped Nelson’s second act would rely less on asking the audience for input, as a more scripted section would have provided a break from half-listening to conversations with random members of the crowd. Frankly, I’m not that bothered what Steve and Jacqui think about the youths of today – I want to see Lee Nelson make comedy gold out of it.
The show does have some funny moments, and Lee Nelson’s persona is incredibly clever and he utilises this well throughout the show. His unrehearsed jokes are undoubtedly funniest, as is the case with a lot of comedians, but these moments don’t make up the majority of the show. For fans of Nelson, it’s definitely worth going along for a laugh though – there’s plenty of them.
Catch Lee Nelson’s Serious Joker tour – more info here.