John Richardson (4 stars)

This article is from 2007.

John Richardson

Delightful surreal obsessive material

BBC6 radio host Jon Richardson is clearly at home behind a microphone. Charming and self-effacing, he moves through a show that might have been subtitled OCD, Or How Other People Drive Me Insane, segueing effortlessly between the different elements of his set. There’s a good crowd in attendance who laugh appreciatively at stories about being stuck behind a technologically impaired man at a ticket machine, and living with other people who don’t share his standards of domestic order.

The set is mainly concerned with such every day irritations. A story premised on the different ways to eat a sandwich might have fallen completely flat in less capable hands, but here, it’s delightfully surreal. Richardson offers up our own neuroses and shows how they might be taken to extremes, the result is a kind of madness not unimaginably far from real life. What doesn’t always work is Richardson’s audience interaction. This doesn’t offer anything particularly funny, and he is only occasionally quick enough to work with our comments. However, these conversations are brief, and although they don’t add much to our enjoyment, nor do they detract from an otherwise high quality show.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 27 Aug, 8.30pm, £11–£12 (£9.50–£10.50).

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