Despite, by his own admission, not hailing from the more charming side of the border, Northern Irish comic Micky Bartlett is an amiable performer, a boyishly roguish storyteller.
Micky Bartlett: Typical!, Yesbar, Glasgow ***
As is standard for many stand-up hours without a strong central narrative or theme, he’s supposedly had a big, watershed year of epiphany and is going to share a few travel tales. In reality, this is a series of loosely strung together anecdotes with some slightly dubious attempts to locate them in a wider cultural context.
The show takes its title from a “typical man!” insult directed at him after a crude but reasonable joke at the expense of DUP leader Arlene Foster and her stance on LGBT rights. Instead of sticking to his satirical guns on gay people’s behalf, though, Bartlett recalls how he fired back at the woman, turning it into a battle of the sexes. For a self-professed liberal feminist who’s had several relationships with older women, the 31-year-old doesn’t half quickly turns his progressive credentials into a humblebrag about his clumsy fumblings at anal sex.
Though ostensibly woke about sexism, racism, fat shaming, transgender issues and the like, these causes serve as mere set-ups for cheeky, throwaway quips, with Bartlett’s beta male humility a cloak for thoughts that often tend towards the shallow and laddish.
He delivers them engagingly enough and the hour rattles along amusingly. But don’t expect any insights into anything deep or meaningful about the human condition.