If you’ve a penchant for vulnerable, neurotic funny men – Simon Amstell’s current standup tour ‘to be free’ should be on your to-do list. You hardcore Beliebers out there might take offence by Simon implying he wants to make Justin cry by penetrating his bottom. Mr Amstell did harp on about his new-ish boyf so of course, he’s only kidding
Simon’s tour pitched up in Bath last Friday (13th March). The City of Bath perfectly characterises Englishness, much like Simon Amstell’s awkward and clumsy persona. Bath’s Komedia is caked in the traditional theatre covings and mouldings. It’s intimate and foolproof venue for a standup with a nervous disposition.
A dorky Norwegian chap called Daniel Simonsen kick started the diaphragm contractions and respiratory howls. Daniel belittles himself and frets his way through observational comedy poker-faced with a Norwegian accent. It works.
The same sharp wit as Never Mind the Buzzcocks and self-deprecated style as Grandma’s House is rife throughout Mr Amstell’s performance. He’s like watching a humorous, nervy overgrown-chihuahua with a tight perm.
The timid pooch eased into the act nervously laughing at his own jokes. Closely followed by roars from the audience. The art of timing is apparent unlike Elton brandishing a Dolce and Gabbana shopping bag in LA. The crowd’s laughter-pipes were put through a gruelling workout.
Amstell twitched through an array of subjects – love, sex, anguish. One of the best lines of the night, “If I was autistic I could lick the world”. Controversy and Amstell go together like Romans and hot-tubs.
The quips trickled from him seamlessly apart from when a member of the audience needed a tinkle. They then became his prey. Funny at first, but painful after the fifth attack.
On stage Amstell looks uncomfortable in his own flesh, he relentlessly fiddled with his granddad-shirt and elasticated trousers. His anxious high-pitched guffaws are adorable tho. Perhaps all these are the traits of a teetotal comedian.
You can’t help but love this eccentric word-wizard. You’ll no doubt be posting your application for the Simon Amstell fan club special delivery after seeing the show.
Four stars for Simon.
You can still catch ‘to be free’ 28th June Regents Park Open Air Theatre – tickets on sale now.