Stewart Lee - Carpet Remnant World - Salisbury City Hall - Saturday June 23
Review by Jamie Hill
There's a reason why Stewart Lee is seen as the comedian's comedian. There's a reason why he's been on the receiving end of a whole bunch of awards. And there's also a reason why he's never going to be as well-known as the Lee Macks or the Michael McIntyres of this world.
Stewart Lee is one of the most uncompromising comedians out there. He revels in being inaccessible to the masses which is much to his credit. His comedy is intelligent and deep and once you get the joke the rewards are endless.
On this Saturday night in Salisbury it was at once clear that he's a master comedian. Conducting the audience like a pro. There were points in the night where the laughter was uncontrollable. There were other points where it came in bursts and there were others where the build up to a joke and its punchline would be deliberately anti-climactic. This was all part of what was one of the cleverest and well-thought out routines I had ever seen. His material about not having any material showed us a comedian at the top of his game. Non-subjects he covered included 'jungle rope bridges', 'Osama Bin Laden', 'Twitter trolls' and shops with 'world' in the title to name but a few and with each new subject he would constantly surprise us jumping effortlessly from one role to the next.
Stewart Lee has a huge talent and was able to change the tone of the night in an instant. It was all expertly done.
He was also very good up at sending up 'stand-up' itself, hilariously over-explaining the jokes and ranting deliciously at the audience. It really was a tour de force and showed why he is praised throughout the industry.
This was the first time that he had performed in Salisbury since 2005. Let's hope he doesn't leave it so long next time.
Lovely uncompromising stuff. A true original.