REVIEW: James Acaster at The Lowry

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LAST night James Acaster took to the stage at The Lowry, we sent Quays News reporter Liam Shaw along to see how the comedian got on.

Sunday Night saw the return of award-winning comedian James Acaster to the Lowry.

After his recent shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and appearances on TV shows such as Mock the Week he’s is back with his latest tour ‘Reset’, asking the audience “What if we could start life all over again?”

As the lights dimmed, Acaster made his way on to the stage with only a rucksack and started setting up the mic stand and stool, all whilst being introduced as if he was about to start a gig at a comedy club.

It was an interesting but awkward choice of introduction and the audience struggled to muster up any noise until he finally found himself in front of the microphone.

Acaster appreciates his “dream team” audience obviously, but isn’t afraid to tell us where things have gone wrong in the past like at his show in Glasgow where he had people shouting at him, “This is f****** s***”.

A lot of the first act seems unplanned and this generally works as a good twenty minute segment is filled by interacting with the audience about the North/South Manchester divide, and whether Salford is actually a part of Manchester.

Luckily people are happy to chat to him about life in the North otherwise it seems that he might have had a harder time trying to get many laughs at all.

He’s eagle eyed as well since at one point in the performance where he intentionally pronounces ‘Quays’ wrong he spots a couple whispering backwards and forwards, and so he starts to mock them pretending that they were having a serious conversation at a comedy gig.

It’s a funny turn and receives plenty of laughter from the room.

His dry sense of humour also takes a turn to every comedian’s favourite topic at the moment, Brexit. Whilst it might not be as politically driven as some stand-up routines, Acaster manages to again add his own unique spin on the point this time comparing the referendum with a cup of tea.

This got the biggest cheer of the night and Acaster must be applauded for bringing his own spin on situations that, as members of the public, we would normally gloss over.

But the unique and whimsical style of comedy that Acaster produces can leave the audience cringing and wondering what is going on though, such as his ‘does and don’ts of passport photo’s’ sequence where he dances around the stage to French music.

It’s bizarre and often the laughs are stalled until he explains what was happening on stage.

Some of his routines, particularly the last one, can seem drawn out and repetitive as well with the audience struggling to find anything new to laugh at, after he repeats the punchline for the seven or eighth time.

It’s a shame, because although his comedy is mostly very funny, his execution isn’t always perfect.

James Acaster is a refreshing addition to the UK comedy circuit adding his own unique style to the stage, but a few awkward moments often leaves the audience wondering what is happening.

It feels like each show will have some variation between them, since a few of his jokes rely on the area he’s in and the audience that he is presented with. You won’t be disappointed if you see Acaste live, but you will left cringing for some of it.

By Liam Shaw
@Journalistshaw

 

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