Stewart Lee – Carpet Remnant World

I wonder if I go to Leicester Square Theatre too much. The manager today queried my choice of seat. “R14? That’s not like you”. R14 is the seat right at the back of the theatre which no one would generally choose, but as I just needed one ticket decided it would be fine.

Stew hovered at the top of the stairs while his intro music played and strode down the aisle once there was enough dry ice on the stage. He explained near the beginning that he had no real narrative, but he had to choose a title, and that 2 minutes from the end of the show he would mention the title while some sad music played. So it was good to know what to expect.

Stew started with a great opening line asking who remembers where they were during 9/11. You know, the bolting horse? (Spoiler / punchline not included!) He touches on travellers, and has a decent stab at a few Muslim jokes. His usual technique of gesturing at a large swathe of the audience and casting them as the new fans who only know him from his Comedy Vehicle series (who he hates) and the old fans (who again all happen to be sitting in the same general area of the theatre). He reminisces about the jungle canyon rope bridges from the 80s and the fact that they are all broken. This turns into a routine about Thatcher and Scooby Doo, after which Stew reveals that he and Richard Herring wrote a list of 10 topics they would never cover as they were too cliched: 2 of them being Thatcher and Scooby Doo.

Seat R14 was actually awful. If it wasn’t the staff wandering around in front of me it was the audience getting up and down to go to the toilet. I moved to prop up the bar for the second half.

In this half he touches again on comedy and that being a dad and also constantly travelling from provincial theatre to provincial theatre means that he hasn’t done anything. The modern comedians all go on adventures. Richard Herring even grew a moustache and that was funny. He calls Dave Gorman the Mr Benn of comedy (but as is often the case when talking about his contemporaries, it’s just harmless ribbing! The back of the stage are various rolls of carpet remnant of various colours and lengths, which transfer into a gorgeous city skyline at the end of the show.

I quickly spoke to Stew on my way out and told him how much I enjoyed both this show and Bridget Christie’s sitcom and scuttled off into the night. From his brief reply it looks like something will happen with it but I don’t know whether it’s destined for radio or TV. I don’t know why but I feel so intimidated interacting with him. Anyway, go and see the show. He’s only on here till February!

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