IF Jon Richardson was writing this review, I don’t imagine he’d prompt any ticket sales for his tour.
Not that the team captain from Channel Four’s 8 Out Of 10 Cats doesn’t deserve to - or particularly need to for that matter - but that’s by the by.
This is a man who has built an entire stand-up and panel show persona on a deep-seated dose of neurosis. With a side portion of borderline OCD.
All of which makes for a pretty unusual stand-up gig.
I can’t recall feeling a genuine sense of after-show concern for a comic before. But I did here thanks to his relentless unforgiving depiction of himself - fuelled by his fretful and depressed (if-perkily dressed up) disposition.
Whether it was his continual chastisement of the slightest word mix up, the punctuating references to his perpetual singleness, or his inability to move from his decision 10 years ago to be frustrated and sad at the world, he gave himself no quarter.
Not even the sight of a full Tyne Theatre could lean him towards any kind of self-congratulation. He surmised we’d been unable to bag tickets for either Michael McIntyre to Ed Sheeran, and so ended up spending a couple of hours in his company.
Thankfully (and against all the odds give what has been said above), this made for a very funny - if sometimes sympathy-infused - evening in the theatre.
His recent arrival at the big 3-0 offered material steeped in the regrets of his twenties, which were spent dusting skirting boards rather than chasing skirt.
Meanwhile his culinary pastimes: reluctantly watching Masterchef, (which has been ruined since the days of Loyd Grossman getting served a posh tea); pretending to be fronting a cookery show of his own; and voyeuristically enjoying other people’s packed lunches also present terrific self-deprecating set pieces.
My personal favourites though were his anecdotes concerning the flatmates currently tormenting him from home by not doing the washing up, recycling or cutlery re-homing correctly.
Richardson is clearly a very talented and funny fellow. But although I laughed lots during his low-octane show, I also needed a bit of cheering up on the way home.
Told you it was unusual