The Week Ahead: July 22 - 28

Daniel kitson

There is really only one game in town this week when it comes to live comedy in London. Late last week Daniel Kitson announced a short run at the Battersea Arts Centre of his latest show, After the Beginning Before the End, from July 24. Inevitably tickets sold out pretty damn quickly, even at the ruthlessly exploitative price of £12  – the bearded bard of Denby Dale usually tries to keep prices down to £10 but he is having some fancy raking in the Grand Hall installed for this gig which presumably costs money. I'm not privy to the details. As he says in his announcement, "keep your noses out of my wallet." 

However, I've noticed that BAC has occasionally tweeted that they've released more tickets since they sold out, plus Kitson has insisted that people can only pick up their tickets on the night with ID to keep touts and ebay at bay, so it wouldn't surprise me if there are some uncollected tickets if you want to risk turning up on spec.

So is Kitson worth turning up on spec for? Well, I saw the show at Latitude. I'd heard in advance that this was a return to stand-up, but I'm not so sure. Apart from the fact that he is sitting down it is closer in spirIt to his recent mood-evoking, emotional theatrical shows that his clubby, potty-mouthed stand-up sets. In other words it's the usual mix of painfully frank honesty and the best use of the English language in comedy this side of Russell Brand. Actually, scrub that, it's better than Russell Brand. But then that's what you were thinking already

Kitson is his usual complex mix of bullish, vulnerable loner here. On the one hand happy to have his own pool table and some disposable income, on the other wondering why he's in his mid-thirties and does not have a long-term partner or children like his friends. This is Kitson getting broody and also getting philosophical on your ass, contemplating the nature of memory and the meaning of life and trying to explain the unexplainable. Hey Daniel, it's unexplainable so lighten up, not even you can explain it.

The good news is that he is very funny. And it has some interesting if minimal use of sound effects and pre-recorded voices. 


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