Comedy review: Mike Ward: Freedom of Speech Isn’t Free

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Mike Ward is not a great comic. But he is a good comic. A good bad-boy comic. On his first night he engages an audience that is demographically far, far from the Lads on Lagers you might expect, given his reputation.

Mike Ward: Freedom of Speech Isn’t Free

Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14)

JJJ

Mike Ward is not a great comic. But he is a good comic. A good bad-boy comic. On his first night he engages an audience that is demographically far, far from the Lads on Lagers you might expect, 
given his reputation.

On stage he is a pugnacious figure whose stock in trade lies mostly below the waist except when it comes up for titty tweaking and blowjobs. His suggestion for finding out if a lady will be adept in that department is properly, Tena Lady funny.

He spends his hour explaining why he is here and taking us down his complaint-strewn professional Memory Lane. Currently the poster boy for free speech in comedy, he is facing a £25,000 fine imposed by the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal for making a joke about a famous disabled kid. A proper joke. But apparently, an improper subject. He is touring the world with said joke to – as he puts it “get my money’s worth”.

You most definitely warm to Ward as he sprinkles jokes across his narrative. Yes, they are mainly paedophile and bestiality jokes, and the narrative involves everything from digging up Patrick Swayze for sexual purposes, through his own horizontal predelictions, but this is mainly just good old fashioned bad boy comedy. And it is funny! There are moments of indignation at the way he has been - on what seems like a regular basis – stitched up by the media.

Oddly for such a comic, he becomes positively warm and friendly – ok, not exactly Adam Hills, but warm – when talking to a couple in the second row about how late into their three pregnancies they had continued to have sex. Do go along. He needs the ticket money.

Kate Copstick

Until 28 August. Today 8:45pm