REVIEW > Dave Gorman at Symphony Hall

DaveGorman.jpg“If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands” intoned Dave Gorman at Birmingham Symphony Hall on Thursday night. In normal circumstances this may have seemed presumptuous as this was the opening gambit of his two hour set. However, and as many of the Gorman devotees in attendance may have suspected, this was merely a preamble to an in-depth statistical analysis of the popular song in graph form via the Stafford funnyman’s weapon of choice, the Powerpoint presentation.

It is a gross understatement to say that this is a man with an inquisitive nature. Previous undertakings have included an expedition to track down 54 namesakes and a globetrotting Googlewhack Adventure. Viewers of “Modern Life is Goodish”, who no-doubt swelled Thursday’s crowd will have been pleased to see many of the elements that make that show so successful in full effect as over the course of a consistently engaging two-hour set Gorman repeatedly challenged the accepted norms and the mundane. In doing so he turned a spotlight on subjects as diverse as Paul Hollywood, selfies and Mrs. Gorman’s knees with a seasoned confidence that enabled him to hold the audience’s interest without the need for scattergun one-liners and the self-assuredness to occasionally let Powerpoint deliver his punchlines.

Gorman demonstrated his love of the lower reaches of the internet in what for many were the highlights of the show, two “Found Poems” lovingly compiled from the comments sections of website news stories. Lacking the usual string quartet, Dave was accompanied firstly by a somewhat reluctant CD and for the conclusion of the show by support act for the evening, Nick Doody. The Yorkshireman had earlier performed an excellent half-hour set of incisive, topical satire and proved himself to be an equally accomplished pianist as the show was bought to a hilarious denouement.

It’s fair to say that when the Symphony Hall crowd spilled out into the cold Birmingham night they certainly were happy, and boy did they know it.

Words: Ian Thomas

Jimmy Carr – Laughter Therapy

Jimmy Carr – Laughter Therapy
24 September
Birmingham Symphony Hall

Not to be confused with healing humour psychotherapy; ‘Laughter Therapy’ is Jimmy Carr’s newest stand-up tour. Aptly named according to Jimmy, as “if you’ve got a sick sense of humour then maybe laughter is the best medicine”.

The much-loved 8 out of 10 Cats presenter is stopping off at the Birmingham Symphony Hall on the 24th of September and, luckily for the locals, he is bringing his dry wit and expert delivery with him.

Laughter Therapy, Jimmy’s ninth solo show (yes ninth, this man is a comedic machine), follows immediately on from the end of his most recent tour; ‘Rapier Wit’, which finished in August. Carr clearly has much more material to give, and an audience more than willing to sit for an hour or two and listen.

As we have come to expect from the straight faced and cheeky, suit wearing, provocateur that is Jimmy Carr; the morally upstanding will shift in their seats and worry if they are allowed to laugh, the politically correct may have their sensitivities shaken, stirred and generally offended – while the rest of us will laugh, hard. It may even be therapeutic.

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