Review: Lee Mack, Eventim Apollo, W6

Lee Mack

Before he conquered the comedy world Lee Mack was a stable boy for Red Rum. All that hanging around with horses seems to have rubbed off. At the Apollo on Saturday night the besuited TV star positively galloped through his crowdpleasing show.

It was lucky he was fast. If the audience had a moment to scrutinise his stand-up they may have spotted how corny some of it was. Jokes about Kerry Katona and Jimmy Savile jostled for space between daft quizzes, mockery of astrology and a magic trick which was essentially a chance for him to be unashamedly vulgar.

Yet despite the feeling that the Lancashire entertainer is so old school he ought to release wax cylinders rather than DVDs, there is something extraordinarily winning about him. He miraculously bridges the gap between alternative and mainstream, even if at times he is a whisker away from mother-in-law material.

The strongest moments came during his crowd work, where he seamlessly blended scripted skits with impressive improvisation. A chat with a Polish woman was typical, as clichés about industrious builders alternated with brilliant rapid-fire original one-liners.

There is something of Bruce Forsyth about Mack. It is not just the prominent chin, it is the way he manages to insult his fans while making them love him. Some of his dodgy gags deserve a steward’s enquiry but he was still a clear winner.

This review first appeared in the Evening Standard here. Lee Mack is currently on tour. Details here.


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