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Live / stage review

Greg Davies at Sheffield City Hall.

The above-average height Greg Davies takes to the stage to a barrage of woops and hollers. Over the next 80 minutes or so he speaks of his family, friends, travels and experiences. The rows of faces gathered in this grandiose setting are here for feel-good laughs, and Greg is here to provide them.

Ed Gamble (of Peacock and Gamble) warms up the crowd suitably well. Managing some very humorous one-on-one interaction in a venue as large as City Hall is certainly no easy feat, but he achieves this with polished demeanour before moving on to a series of amusing anecdotes.

But the crowd are here for Greg, or in many cases Mr Gilbert (Davies had recently stated that his audiences doubled after the success of The Inbetweeners), and there is a lot of him to go around. At over 2 metres tall and wearing an extremely ill fitting t-shirt (instant visual humour – check) Greg spends the majority of the show stomping around whilst self-deprecatingly playing on his imperfections, his comfort on stage immediately easing the audience into a warm sense of security.

His mission statement for the night is to explore the norm. His mother often describing his actions as being ‘not normal, love’ and his father often ridiculing his trials and tribulations have lead Davies to this moment. There are moments where the punchlines feel like they haven’t been as well crafted as they could have been, but the build ups are so well delivered that he could say any word or even noise to end a routine and he would get a round of applause, a talent which could see him taking on far bigger venues than City Hall in the near future.

What strikes me as interesting about Greg’s journey to comedic stardom is his 13 years as a secondary school teacher before leaving the relatively stable career for the more turbulent and unsteady life of a performer. Alongside Flanagan, Lock and many more, we’re seeing an increase in the older comedian. A wealth of material and a stronger backbone when faced with harsh critics seems to have separated the wheat from the chaff. Greg concludes the show with an ode to being or not being a bonsai tree, a somewhat gushing yet extremely enjoyable conclusion to a pleasant evening with one of the country’s finest entertainers.

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