If you’ve seen this comedy legend perform on television shows such as Never Mind The Buzzcocks, you won’t be prepared for the awkward “comedy” displayed in Phil Jupitus’ latest tour show, Juplicity. Bumbling on stage from the start, Jupitus produces a tatty folder full of A4 sheets of paper, often struggling to find the poem he’s looking for. Poem. You read that right.
I don’t recall performance poetry being shouted particularly loudly during the promotion of this tour. It may have gone down as a pleasant surprise if the poetry was funny, or clever, or even noticeably well-written but, with the wealth of exceptional spoken word talent in Leeds, this just doesn’t even come close to matching the quality available in several venues across the city hosting regular open mic events. One of his openers is discussing how cruel audiences were when he opened for Madness and, quite frankly, no wonder they were more than disappointed.
I’m not generally a fan of comedians making half-jokes about saving money on taxes, or how skint they are, or how they’re only at a gig for the money. Jupitus makes it clear through his relaxed attitude that he doesn’t really have the passion to put on a great night of comedy. Ironically, and sadly, the biggest laugh of the night comes from Jupitus himself when he told an ad-hoc joke that particularly tickled him (and nobody else).
This show doesn’t come with many pleasant laughs, and I feel the few laughs from the audience come from sentiment, nostalgia or awkwardness rather than anyone actually finding many of the gags or poems funny.
There are, however, a number of shows coming up at Leeds City Varieties that look particularly promising: Jason Byrne on Thursday 5th October, for example. Check out the upcoming gigs here.