THE debate as to whether venues the size of The Hydro offer a satisfying experience of live comedy never seems appropriate for Lee Evans, one of the longest established of the arena comics, and one of the few who truly benefits from such a vast canvas.
Lee Evans: Monsters - Hydro, Glasgow
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Whatever you think of the familiarity of his observations, on airport security and inaudible train station tannoys for example, and some of the straw man arguments the 50-year-old relies upon in his setups, he remains an exceptional and magnetic physical performer, his outsize expressiveness elevating what invariably seems like workaday material in the cold light of day.
This show is called Monsters, presumably because of all the angry animals and human grotesques he contorts himself into, those funny walks, leering grins and gurns punching up every line. Despite his obvious success and wealth, his mention of visiting the job centre or taking the bus never once feels affected, not least because at several moments in the show he delivers a sincere-sounding gush of gratitude that so many might come to see him.
Despite his stand-up shifting ever more from innocent idiocy towards cantankerous petulance, he retains that cheeky chappie, Norman Wisdom-like charm that always endeared him. He acknowledges his mild digs at the likes of Cheryl Cole, Peter Andre and Jordan as if they were major transgressions. The portrait of his married life approaches 1970s “‘er indoors” territory. Nevertheless, there’s great, appreciable skill in making thousands howl at an impression of a table tennis ball simply coming to a standstill.
Seen on 16.10.14