Review: Chris Addison, The Time is Now Again, Brighton Theatre Royal, Sunday February 5

chris addison
chris addison

THE AUDIENCE was absolutely spellbound by Chris Addison, who prowled the stage, spinning his web of savagely funny social and political commentary, with effortless grace.

He masterfully stitched his jokes together to make it look like he was just having a ranty chat with us.

That’s one of the hallmarks of great comedy - when they make it look easy, but you know it’s in fact fiendishly difficult to utterly control a gig like that.

With material that Addison himself unashamedly described as middle class, this show was lapped up by the Brighton audience which packed out the Theatre Royal on a bitterly cold Sunday night.

There were some seriously heavyweight punches pulled here, with people who do something bang out of order and then defend it by saying “Well it’s just the way I am!” coming in for a fireball of furious criticism.

“No it’s not just the way you are!” yelled Addison. You choose to be an idiot, you know you’re an idiot, but it does mean you could decide not to be an idiot!

Watch out for the It’s just the Way I am Defence – it cannot stand up and should not be tolerated.

There were topics to satisfy all of his fans here, which as Addison claims, represent the whole spectrum of age

ranges, with fans coming from Skins, The Thick of It, stand up and Radio 4.

So there were jokes for the teens, poking fun at the people who demonise young people and in particular the old people who were asked for their opinions on the rioters.

“I blame the parents,” said an anonymous old person during the TV coverage, “Well who gave birth to them,” howled Addison.

There were jokes for the politics nuts about the Tories coming up with pants policies that don’t achieve anything or cost any money – like raising the speed limit to 80mph when everybody knows 70mph is just an aspirational speed limit anyway, Addison sighed.

I also enjoyed the observation that lots of our world leaders conform to national stereotypes (see how many more you can spot!) – there’s David Cameron, the posh old Etonian toff and member of the minor aristocracy, Nicolas Sarcozy who has married a model 12 years his junior following a divorce from his wife and Vladimir Putin, the scary former KGB agent who is so frightening he sends shivers down anyone’s spine.

Look out for Addison’s artful and snide put downs of hecklers too. One drunken heckler was batted away like Rafael Nadal would hit a winning backhand when the comic said: “You realise you’re spoiling it for everyone else? I’ve got your money - you’re of no further use to me. So any time you feel like leaving - feel free!”