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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Sean Lock: Keep It LightSean Lock: Keep it Light

at The Lowry Theatre, Salford

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall May 2016


Nearing the end of his four month tour, 53 year old comedian Sean Lock (8 Out Of 10 Cats / QI etc), played to a capacity audience last night at Salford's massive 1700-seat Lyric theatre.


He has a rather unique style - a style which really works for him - a style that never really takes himself too seriously, which says, 'take-me-or-leave-me-as-I-am-I-really-don't-care'. Acerbic, acidic, slightly arrogant, loud, brash, deeply cynical and sarcastic, he commanded the stage; standing alone on that vast stage with nothing to hide behind, he performed his routines - finding comedy in things no other comedian has ever done, or dared to do - with an almost Wagnerian majesty.


He did though do quite a bit of shouting, which he needn't have done, and he most certainly swore far too often for my liking too. Why do all comedians - with very few exceptions - have to pepper their routines with profanities? Lock even used them when there was no narrative, just to gain an extra laugh, by saying 'w***er' at the audience. Sorry, but this does nothing for me at all.


Sean Lock: Keep it Light

However, much of what Lock did have to say was, albeit slightly offbeat, actually quite funny. He had sets about school qualifications and hating Shakespeare because of school {learning Shakespeare at school was like the woodwork teacher making you build a galleon}; travelling on a train {the only people who should work on a train are the driver, the ticket-collector and perhaps Hercule Poirot}; a ballet routine in which Lock performed quite energetically an entire ballet he had made up, telling us the story as he went along; his Bucket List {not swimming with dolphins but trying some heroine}; Mid-Life Crises {questioning his relationship - it turns out that he didn't make a mistake - his wife did.}; Children's Books {complete with fart gags}, and the cinema {and the price of cinema food}.


I am uncertain of whether or not he was supposed to have had a support act last night, since Lock came on stage at the beginning to announce that he was going to be his own support because the chap who should have done it (a name was mentioned but I don't remember it) had 'won the lottery and f****d off'. This could just have been part of Lock's act or it could have been true, but one thing that was most certainly true is that Lock's second half material was superior to his first.


His Mumsnet routine was quite well observed, and the funniest joke of the evening was a visual one where he played 'the ball' in a game of Wii tennis on the street whilst watching someone play it in their lounge through their window.


Just one thing to correct you on sir. You said that the Swiss don't have their own language, but in fact they do. Majority speak Schweizer Dutsh (German), then French and Italian; however there is a very small percentage of native Swiss speakers. They speak a language based on Latin called Romantsch. Sorry to be the pedant!


If you're quick you might be able to get a ticket for his second Lowry gig tonight - otherwise, you will be able to catch up with him for his penultimate performance on the 24th May at Buxton Opera House.

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