Review: Ivo Graham. Soho Theatre, W1

Ivo Graham

If you like your comedy with large words and beautiful linguistic flourishes read on then buy a ticket immediately for Ivo Graham. His second full-length show, Bow Ties and Johnnies, covers similar coming-of-age terrain to his debut, reviewed here, but it is thematically tighter and, more importantly, consistently funnier.

The subject matter is mainly Graham’s boarding school past and his recent girlfriend. He excavates both areas with self-deprecating charm, recalling, for instance, how he was such a shy teen that his mother would organise his social life. All he needed to do was write exquisite thank-you notes the following day.

Graham’s geeky schtick is effective, helped by a precision-tooled delivery honed to within a whisker of perfection. He is the bookworm who would rather read a football magazine than score for England. Thoughtful asides and intelligent punchlines pepper his set. Where else can you hear a pay-off that namechecks both Taylor Swift and the Duke of Anjou?

There is more than an echo of comic Richard Ayoade in Graham’s tendency to apologise for taking up his audience’s time. For satirical or edgy look elsewhere. This is a joyous show as well-constructed as one of Graham’s post-party thank-you letters.

Read Ivo Graham's answers to some Rarely Asked Questions here.

This review first appeared in the Evening Standard here. Follow Ivo Graham on Twitter @ivograham


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