It’s hard to ignore the lure of the Food Court at Grand West. But even those who indulged heartily before Michael McIntyre’s show would have burned off every calorie in laughter.
McIntyre is a sensation, as proved by the massive success of his Michael McIntyre’s Roadshow, which last year included 71 Arena dates across the UK, playing to over 700,000 people, including a record breaking 10 nights at the O2 Arena in London.
Resolutely chirpy people can often be irritating, but it’s not hard to warm to McIntyre, who skips happily about the stage giggling at the absurdities of life. Although slipping into vulgarity every now and then, his style of comedy is generally very family friendly, and indeed there were a lot of children present in the audience.
The show begins with a visual of the back stage and a voice intoning, “The show starts in five minutes.” A bald, half naked and toothless Michael McIntyre is seen spinning around, before being dressed – Iron Man style – for the evening’s activities.
Onto the stage then bounced a short black haired British bloke claiming to have found where all the lost millions have gone from his past shows: “The reprisal of Sugarman”.
As customary for foreigners visiting the country McIntyre took a few potshots at the Afrikaans language and aimed a few light jabs at our crime and safety issues, and of course our famously overloaded taxis.
He came with a selection of new jokes and also recycled a few old ones which were still a winner with the audience. Everyday things we barely consider McIntyre has the ability to pin down and magnify to magnificent proportions of silliness – a recipe for success.
The great thing about his comedy is that it translates so well to different cultures and countries. Audience members could be heard squeaking “so true!” between bouts of spluttering laughter as he turned the spotlight on the habit of drinking coffee at night and then not being able to sleep, the perils of morning breath and the paranoia caused by the cuckolding dreams of your lover. And of course he included his now famous Man Drawer observation, to which every man (and many women) nodded along helplessly. Such was the infectiousness of his laughter that the camera and lights could be seen to be jittering about every now and again as their operators could no longer could contain themselves.
And it is not just his observations and his comic timing, but McIntyre’s whole stage performance that engages his audience. Every minute on stage is driven by his animated and flamboyant personality, and though his habit of prancing around on stage leaves him breathless at times, he doesn’t linger with heavy breathing and long pauses but interacts with the audience to keep the show flowing seamlessly.
The show was fantastic, and McIntyre was even kind enough to grace us with an encore. Let us hope that, like those other famous comedians Eddie Izzard and John Cleese, Michael McIntyre will soon be back on these shores.
Michael McIntyre performed 18 & 19 April 2013 at Grand Arena, GrandWest.