Reviewer: Seb Farrell
Josh Widdicombe is perhaps best known as star of Channel 4’s The Last Leg, Live at the Apollo, 8 Out of 10 Cats and Mock the Week, but here the Foster’s Comedy Award Best Newcomer nominee brings his new show fresh from Edinburgh to the Lowry stage.
The show starts with Josh using his unique charm and experience to form a rapport with the audience, deal with hecklers quickly and explain that the actual show begins after the interval. Despite that delay he still regales us with well rehearsed and delivered anecdotes about modern technology and a piece on arcade machines getting particular applause.
Widdicombe clearly knows how to work a room, a weapon not all modern comedians can claim -testament to the time he’s spent on the UK circuit working the clubs and venues that arguably bigger names simply bypass on their rise to stardom.
This reviewer saw Widdicombe back when he supported Stephen Merchant on his first national tour in Manchester and was not disappointed. His own show is obviously much slicker and, he explains, more likely to frustrate the MD of Swizzels (makers of Love Hearts) than any big political figure of the time.
‘Incidentally’ is an odd choice of name, the show could be called ‘Things on Josh’s Coffee Table’ as the second half focuses almost exclusively on the props which decorated both his table in April, his 30th Birthday month, and which also adorn the same table on stage this evening. We’re regaled with ten minute slots on a 1970s style telephone, a Snowman DVD, a packet of Batchelor’s Super Noodles (including a great section on serving suggestions), a passport photograph, the aforementioned Love Hearts and some paintball tickets.
Widdicombe makes it all look effortless, the audience is in raptures with practically almost every piece of cleverly crafted detail. He hops from one acutely observed gem to the next and both fans and newcomers alike are guaranteed an excellent night of laughs. Supported wonderfully at this venue by Suzi Ruffell, the whole evening is a hoot from start to finish – find him near you.