“Jokes about olive oil! You don’t get that with Frankie Boyle do you?”
Yes, Chris Addison is unapologetically middle class, but that’s not to say this is a man without fire in his belly. Dispensing with the themed shows of previous tours, Addison railed passionately against all manner of pet hates here.
David Cameron came in for a particularly vicious kicking as the coalition government’s failings were laid bare for all to see. This was far from an intellectual exercise in political finger-wagging though. Addison’s punchlines were almost always on the money and his more tangential flights of fancy showcased a sharp and inventive mind.
An anti-monarchy setpiece saw him singing the praises of Prince Philip – at least finding some merit in his devil-may-care attitude and hilariously outrageous rudeness.
After a mid-90s dip in popularity of the monarchy following a certain traffic accident in a Paris tunnel, Addison ruefully noted their new-found resurgence with Kate Middleton, driven by a media “desperate to create a new Diana – to replace the one they broke…” Ouch.
Addison’s observational targets throughout didn’t pass into unchartered territory by any means but they were cannily structured and well mined for full comic potential. In a routine on the problems of teenagers today he confiscated one girl’s Blackberry in the front row: “Is it important that you text right now?” he asked. She’s 19. Point proved.
And material on last summer’s riots was nicely mixed with a decidedly Bristolian flavour. One standout riff found the action relocated to Clifton as locals stole only Farrow & Ball paint to “finally finish off the billiards room.”
Addison’s a seasoned stand-up and obviously knows Bristol well enough to go much further than the usual hackneyed West Country yokel shtick we’re lumbered with when others vainly try to pretend to make an effort at local jokes.
Elsewhere, he flitted seamlessly from science and fashion to Groupon vouchers and his own private comedy Chinese accent he keeps himself entertained with at home. Taking off the thematic straitjacket suits Addison, this free-flowing scattergun set was a belter.