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Late Doors

Stewart Lee, Scarborough Spa

Another tour where Stewart develops his upcoming half hour tv series live. He does three half hourish sessions on three of the six themes that each program will be base upon. The end bit ( the "free encore") is new material under development. In between there is the usual detours into mock audience ridicule, self effacing introspective, scornful destruction  of his peers, media people and politicians plus assorted swipes at other absurdities life throws about.

Something's just resonate perfectly with you don't they. Stewart Lee does with me. It's not that i can't be challenged in order to like something or someone. PJ O'Rourke for instance or the Telegraph but seeing Stewart Lee live and letting his intellectual fun, his sense of theatrical performance and his life commentary about the unfathomable truths of it all makes me proud as well as ache with laughter. Proud because i think if i am on the same wavelength as he is i must be ok.

One thing i could take issue with him over though is a certain contributor to the Sunday times. He really isn't worth any inclusion in anyone's act. He is simply too pathetic to register despite his limitless comic ridiculing potential.

As luck would have it the splendid Hole in the Wall pub was en route to the Spa and rudeness is not one of my strong points so in we went. Two or three pints is essential to get me mentally showered and shaved for a special night of quality comedy.

The Spa down at the shore front at the end of the South Bay is a fine old structure that captures the towns great old age and also represents the fantastic renovation of the last ten fifteen years. We've always loved Scabby come what may but it's great to see this gradual transformation. The Spa is the kind of venue i don't mind paying nearly a fiver for a pint of crap lager in a plastic glass. What i do mind is self absorbed preened and coiffured ignorant twonks not waiting their turn at the bar and then ordering their round one by one. He then had the audacity to ask for interval drinks after he had paid. Thankfully the barman had had enough of him by then. It fills me with despondency that blokes like this can be Stewart Lee fans so i console myself that he must be somebody's" friend" though i find that unlikely. It's upsetting because a Stewart Lee audience is a brilliant audience. You look around and think you could be friends with all of them.

The show started with Stewart explaining the format and reminiscing about the last time he played Scarborough, "back in the moat days". Ahrr yes those were the days when people waited their turn at the bar and told the bar man who was next. Yeah, they were great, "the moat days".

We had three main topics, islamophobia jokes, urine and nationalism and i aren't going to spoil anything for anyone who us planning on seeing him themselves either live or on the telly. Suffice it to say they were all brilliantly smart, contemporary relevant and acutely funny. Not only featuring specific themes but each one particularly executed with a different trait of Stewart's styles.

At one point during one of them. I genuinely thought he'd lost the plot. To be honest I'm still not hundred percent that it went the way he wanted it. Of course that is part of his genius, to let things shrink to the brink of irreversible collapse before bringing it back to full  control with a torrent of measured and crucially very very funny diatribes carrying pathos galore along with wry and ringing scorn.

Absolutely stunning comedy that far exceeds the norm of the genre. That is his game though and he is the peerless master of it. Long may he continue to get up the right noses as well.
Sir Bulldog Craggwood

Thanks for that

I disagree with a lot of his viewpoints on big subjects but can still view him as a comedy great, a genius even

The nearest thing we have to Bill Hicks - but a left-leaning 'safe' Bill Hicks

Get sucked into his act and be in the right mood and he can be very very funny
Plastic Man

By coincidence, I was just thinking of Mr Lee the other day (Shitbottle!) and wondered if he was due a new run on the telly. Excellent news indeed.
Dock

I need to give this bloke another watch. When I have seen him before I've just thought he seemed a bit smug and switch off after five minutes. I'll watch out for him on T'Telly and give him more of a fair hearing.
Dock

I need to give this bloke another watch. When I have seen him before I've just thought he seemed a bit smug and switch off after five minutes. I'll watch out for him on T'Telly and give him more of a fair hearing.
Plastic Man

Dock wrote:
I need to give this bloke another watch. When I have seen him before I've just thought he seemed a bit smug and switch off after five minutes. I'll watch out for him on T'Telly and give him more of a fair hearing.


Yes, he does come across as smug and self-opinionated. But this is part of the act. His genius is in then off-setting these smug and self-opinionated opinions, and ultimately making one confront one's own thoughts on a wide variety of subjects and the absurdities therein.
Late Doors

Quite Right PM
Late Doors

Nine months ago in Scarborough we saw this show and it's still running. To be honest we didn't think it was the same show when we booked to see him at the West York's Playhouse but wasn't disappointed when we realised.

To recap, its his "try out" for the forthcoming tv series. The process takes two years apparently and is testament to his care, detail and precision he puts into his comedy.

I knew it might be the same core  as the Scarborough show but this is a comedian I can watch and listen to again and again without losing an iota of adulation and interest. I know I keep banging on about him but he is right up there with The Smiths, Fall, Radiohead, Hendrix, South East Asian Noodles and Magic Rock beers in terms of consumption. One simply cannot get enough.

A full packed Quarry house theatre in which we arrived slightly late. We found an old lad in a bit of distress way up on the Headrow looking for the bus station. The poor lad was lost, on his way to Cookridge to see his daughter after he had just come out of hospital. His daughters car had broken down apparently and he lived in Belle Isle, doesn't come into the city much. I'm not surprised he got lost the abomination that is going on above and around the bust station with the Victorian quarter shopping complex crippling the pedestrian movements. We walked and talked him down East Gate and around back up to the bus station very slowly while he held on to my arm. It was the No 6 Holt Park bus he said so we sat him down and left him with another passenger. He wasn't still there when we got back after the show so I hope he is alright but I wonder about his daughter.

Anyway, Stu did Four half hourish acts but by now he said the show had been ironed out tweaked straightened and finished enough to record after 18 months touring it. But, he observed and stated, this Leeds crowd had just ruined it all with their inability to laught in the right places and filled him with doubt.

He didn't do the islamapohobia act or the English Flag act. He'd done them to death on the tour he said. He did a couple of the same acts as last time but they were changed and honed. The borderline  anarchy of the childhood memories act was no longer there as I obviously knew what the sketch was about but it remains a genius piece of comedy. All the Trademark Stu traits were in abundance. The intellectual teasing of the crowd, the ridiculing of his pears especially the younger ones, The self effacing analysis, The theatre, The literary references, Media scorn, the disdain for all you non voters out there, a bending caricatured piss take of the all the current comedy trends plus a lot more that define this extraordinary unique comedian. . This man is still at the very top of his game, by a very very long way and that includes Ed Byrne who was in the audience as Stu's guest and who received what I would consider the finest compliment a comedian could have from him. So much for his so called rudeness eh?
Late Doors

What an absolute joy to see the culmination of this tour in the form of the just finished series. Comedy this good is up there with the best of the Arts.

There's more to comedy than laughs someone should have once said. Not that I haven't laughed myself into a tearful mess watching these half hour slices of  back to back captivating genius  over the last week or so but they make strike all sorts of other chords. They challenge you, make you ponder and provoke all sorts of internal response. That last sketch centred around dead comedians was simply the best comedy sketch ive ever heard or seen for instance. The Rod Liddle poppodom munching thing probably the best put down of a media idiot there can ever be and the series included the best opening line on nationalism I can imagine.
Plastic Man

Two years work on the road, distilled down to six 30 minute episodes.

I think the bloke is a genius, but I can understand why many would find him not only not funny, but annoying.
sheeps

Plastic Man wrote:
Two years work on the road, distilled down to six 30 minute episodes.

I think the bloke is a genius, but I can understand why many would find him not only not funny, but annoying.




Couldn't raise a smile with me but several friends of mine [leave it] love him.
Sir Bulldog Craggwood

Late Doors wrote:
What an absolute joy to see the culmination of this tour in the form of the just finished series. Comedy this good is up there with the best of the Arts.

There's more to comedy than laughs someone should have once said. Not that I haven't laughed myself into a tearful mess watching these half hour slices of  back to back captivating genius  over the last week or so but they make strike all sorts of other chords. They challenge you, make you ponder and provoke all sorts of internal response. That last sketch centred around dead comedians was simply the best comedy sketch ive ever heard or seen for instance. The Rod Liddle poppodom munching thing probably the best put down of a media idiot there can ever be and the series included the best opening line on nationalism I can imagine.


I watched the one on urine and childhood last night - i haven't laughed aloud so much in ages - i think i might be a schizophrenic comedy fan

I loved his implications that all those comics had died because their audiences weren't appreicative enough

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