Ricky Gervais – Brighton Centre, Brighton
Monday 14th December 2009
Another chance to see Ricky Gervais’ Science Tour, after the going to the show a couple of months earlier in Oxford.
A short trip from Victoria to Brighton, just in time to catch the support act, Stewart Francis. Unfortunately, I’d missed the Canadian’s performance in Oxford, but I was glad to see him here. His act is largely one-liners (or two liners), and is pretty clever. Rather than Tim Vine at 78rpm, he’s set at 33rpm, which works extremely well for all his gags.
The Brighton Centre had a slightly darker and less warmer feeling than that at the New Theatre, Oxford. The performance, apart from a tiny amount of improvisation, was pretty much identical to the previous show. Once again, Ricky Gervais entered the stage on a segway and into his “I’m famous” routine.
He continued with controversial routines on Amanda Holden, Mental Illness, Rape, Homosexuality, Perversion and so on. The audience were cracking up most of the time, even though there were a number of moments where the content tested the boundaries. No doubt, he crossed the line in some people’s eyes, but that’s what Ricky Gervais likes to do.
Notably, the Science theme was far from evident. It was left to Noah’s Story, reading from one of his books given to him as a child, to provide most of the laughs. Page by page, illustration by illustration, he embarks on a his own comedic review of the story. Commenting on implied conversations between God and Noah marks for a hilarious routine.
The critics understandably suggest that Ricky Gervais could do better. Not sure if that’s because it looks too effortless or the fact we simply now expect much more. At the end of the day, it’s a good routine with more than enough laughs. Controversial at times, but extremely funny. Well worth the couple of trips to see him live.