Live Review: Garrett Millerick, 2 Northdown, N1

Garrett Millerick is angry. Bloody livid. And so was I when I arrived at his show last night. Due to traffic jams around every corner I arrived ten minutes late so didn't quite know how Millerick had ended up living in Essex. All I knew – I could tell by the steam coming out of his ears – was that he hated it. Mainly, it seemed because everyone was thick and only interested in talking about cars and football. Two subjects Millerick has little interest in.

In Devil's Advocate Millerick rants, sorry, talks, about the things that get his goat. Not just his friendless life in Essex but the travails of being a working comedian. This means having to get planes across the world to earn a living. If it isn't the airports which are now more like shopping malls with a few planes attached, it's the in-flight entertainment. You can't watch a movie without it pausing to sell you something these days. As if you haven't already spent all your money in the shops at the airport.

In fact it's money that gives Millerick one of his biggest headaches. On his way to an Australian gig his credit card is refused. American Express thinks it is helping out when they spot a foreign transaction, but given that his previous recent transactions have been abroad, did they not think maybe he was on his way somewhere? Never mind, the fraud department will help him out. If they haven't closed for the weekend...

This is a man who thinks the world is conspiring against him. He says his show is not political, but in its own way it is acutely political. Almost everything he talks about is caused by politics. It is advanced capitalism that makes airlines sell things to him at every stage. It is advanced capitalism that probably pushed house prices up and forced him to move to Essex (can't be sure as I missed the intro). His friend who, he tells us, refuses to get involved in the false consciousness of dress-down-Friday office larks is surely taking a political stance.

And one of his biggest set-pieces finds him raging like the Hulk about a college gig where he had to agree to highly political "safe space" regulations. In a skilful piece of writing Millerick dismantles their policy point by point. Well, I say it is skilful. Essentially he is saying that he is an adult and they are namby pamby children.

If there is a fault it does feel slightly cartoonish at times and one does wonder how much of this is true. But then it is called Devil's Advocate after all. Maybe Millerick goes home, makes himself a cup of tea and settles down with a good book by an open fire while smiling and stroking his dog contentedly. But somehow I doubt it. 

Until December 3. Tickets here.

Picture by Mark Dawson.

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