It IS a tribute to the overwhelmingly entertaining nature of Alfie Moore’s show that he almost immediately made me forget my shock and horror at paying £4.30 for a pint of cider in the bar beforehand.
RATING * * * *
This is a lovely, personal and genuine hour of comedy from a policeman-turned-comedian. His stories are of his experiences in the police with emphasis on, as the title of the show suggests, riots. He compares and contrasts the London riots of last summer with other “great riots of the world”. And the result is a genuinely funny hour.
But Moore gives us more than just chav chat and riot shield techniques, he pepper sprays his hour with lovely stuff about religion, politics, marriage and Postman Pat; he bemoans his lack of physical fitness and examines the phenomenon of children “growing into” the names they are given.
But it is the glorious roll-out of tales about life behind the thin blue line that are the heart and soul of this lovely hour. And it has a big heart. Alfie, we learn, has been set on fire, stabbed and punched repeatedly (though not all on the one call-out, I hasten to add). His tales are more like The Bill than Heartbeat, but they are a clever combination of fascinating, frightening and funny. With a fair old amount of inside information on police procedures thrown in.
Moore might be tasering himself in the foot with the force, but I can see him rising fast through the ranks with comedy audiences. It is a marvellous thing to watch an audience relax, kick back and get to love a show and its performer. That is exactly what happens here.
And Moore’s chunkily avuncular presence is, quite simply, a joy. In a comedy world full of boys and girls with dangerous hairdos and nothing to say, Alfie Moore is a proper grown-up’s comic.
Until 27 August. Today 9:50pm.