Reviewer: Laura Maley
The Public Reviews Rating:
Seann Walsh is fast becoming a familiar face to TV comedy viewers, with appearances on Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, Mock the Week and Russell Howard’s Good News Extra. His first stand-up tour shows why he’s such a fast-rising star.
Starting the evening, Romesh Ranganathan provides support. His material ranges from cheese pasties to conspiracy theories, stopping off at dinner parties and soft play centres. Ranganathan’s observations set up Walsh’s set really well.
In a somewhat surreal start to the evening, both comedians share the stage at The Lowry’s Quays Theatre with the set of Wind in the Willows, surrounding them with green scenery and Toad Hall in the background. This leads to an impromptu meander from Walsh’s planned act for the first 15 minutes. The meandering seems to please him rather than throw him off his stride.
In fact, unplanned wanderings crop up a few times in the show, with great effect. Walsh involves and encourages some audience participation, taking good advantage of those brave (or foolish) enough to leave mid-set. His observational style finds hilarity in the most mundane of situations with stopping points in popular culture from videogames to vajazzling.
I find it surprising how inventive some observational comedians can be, and all too often they seem to tread quite a well-worn path so it’s refreshing to hear so much from Walsh tonight which feels new – whether that’s making a microwave meal, missing your bus stop or using public toilets. Equally many moments make me wonder at how Walsh’s brain is wired, from a possible origin of catwalk modelling and some very funny physical moments acting out a scenes in a gym and a 24 hour garage.
Walsh’s overall style makes the evening seem delightfully shambolic, from his remarks about forgetting to bring his suit, to an ending that I’m still not sure is planned or impromptu; whichever it is, it works.
A charismatic performer, Walsh is fun, enthusiastic and full of energy. He generously asks for a round of applause for the audience members he involves in the show and seems genuinely to not believe his ‘luck’ at doing so well on his first tour. Judging by tonight’s performance and the audience reaction, I think he should probably get used to this kind of reception.