Work in Progress
Cliffs Pavillion, Southend
Saturday 11th August 2012
One of the country's most popular current comedians, Michael McIntyre has shot to stardom with his enthusiastic, floppy haired brand of observational comedy. After taking over from Jack Dee with the BBC's "Live at the Apollo", he then began touring the country with a similar format live show, "Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow", and has been regularly on our screens ever since.
Building on the success of his three nights at Wembley in 2009, he is about to embark on a large-scale arena tour of the UK, and visits the Cliffs for three sell-out "warm-up" gigs to try out his new material.
With not long to go before his tour begins, the evening was slick and fast paced - which can not always be said of these "Work in Progress" gigs - and the audience were enthusiastically receptive of this popular comedian.
Without wishing to spoil anything for future viewers, we laughed until we ached at the winding narrative that weaves together a list of observations into a hilarious climax. Michael's sons have featured heavily in his material since they were born, and this show is no exception, with the section about his children being among the sharpest and wittiest of the night.
A treat for anyone who will be seeing this show on tour, and the inevitable post-show DVD, but even more so for those of us lucky enough to catch him in the comparatively intimate setting of a regional theatre.