A few weeks ago my mate who took me to Dara O’Briain suggested we go to see Frank Skinner. He is doing a show with a different headliner every night as well as a cabaret act. I had a look at the list of who was on and chose Thursday to go as Richard Herring was headlining. Though, its a good line up. I would have been happy to see any of these bills.
We met up at Halfway To Heaven and had a couple of pints downstairs. Andrew’s flat mate Marc joined us and we were having such a good time it got to 7:45 before we noticed the time and hot-footed it to the theatre.
We were in the balcony, but the second row from the front and near the aisle (where I like to be). Andrew faffed around for a bit getting his jacket off, etc etc and we sat down.
Frank came out told a seemingly random punchline to a joke. It seemed an unusual start, but he then explained that he likes to end the show on a cliff hanger and it was the punchline to the joke he had told last night. He started to chat to the crowd but the first guy he spoke to on the front row wasn’t giving anything back, so Frank was forced to admit defeat and go elsewhere. He next found a lad who claimed to be a geography teacher who turned out to be an actor who had come with his mother. Frank suggested to the mother, Christine, that if she was easily offended she put cotton wool in her ears, and she played along with the joke brilliantly. He played a George Formby song for a little singalong, but all in all Frank was taking a while to warm himself up I think. He did point out 2 empty seats on the front row and commented on how annoying it was.
Joe Lycett was first on. His opening line was about how he farted non stop for 14 seconds, and he knew that because he was watching Countdown at the time! He read a great string of emails about someone taking offence to his character on Epic Win and he won over the audience fairly easily. He was followed by Isy Sutie (I almost feel contractually obliged to the write “Dobby from Peep Show”) She is a very lovable performer but I was so distracted by the wee I needed to have that I couldn’t pay enough attention!
I snuck out for my wee, and it was amazing. In the time between starting and finishing my wee, 2 other guys had come into the loos, done their wees, washed and dried their hands and left. It was astonishing. I got back just as Isy was ending and the first half had come to a close.
In the interval I chatted to the theatre manager and managed to wangle our way into those 2 front row seats. Of course Frank noticed and asked where we had come from, possibly hoping we were latecomers. I explained we had come from the balcony. Frank asked the balcony en masse if they were having a good time. Yes they replied. And are you glad these 2 lads have left you. YES came the response even louder!
Next up was the Jive Aces. They were a swing band in the style of Darts from the 70s, and they were truly joyful. All dressed completely in yellow they played 3 or 4 feel good songs including “Bring Me Sunshine“. I was disappointed that they finished so soon.
Richard Herring came on to close the show and performed his fairly standard club set. I was delighted of course when Rich got to his “pity fuck” line and pointed straight at my mate. Added on to the end of the material that I know probably too well, was the soon to be classic Fererro Rocher routine. I’m not sure what happened write at the end, but there must have been some offence taken as Rich said he was glad that he could disgust a Frank Skinner audience!
The show came to a temporarily confusing end, where he started to tell and old school pub style joke. but of course, we never heard the punchline…