Sean Hughes (3 stars)

This article is from 2007

Sean Hughes

A slight return from the boyish wonder

On the face of it, the stage Sean Hughes of 2007 doesn’t seem a whole lot different from the one who nabbed his first bit of fame back in 1990 as the youngest winner of the Perrier. With that boyish gaunt look still intact, he certainly doesn’t look any more or less healthy. Walking across the stage with one hand grabbing his hair or standing still to lean forward, putting the weight on one leg as though preparing for a starting pistol to fire before leaping headfirst into the front row, Hughes displays the hallmarks of someone who should be terrified of being in front of a big crowd, yet this is a life he clearly gets off on. Why else would he be back touring after eight years away?

These days, he’s less interested in chatting about Morrissey’s lyrics or summoning the spirit of Samuel Beckett and is more aware of his own mortality, wondering aloud how on earth he managed to get to be 41 years old; albeit a 41-year-old man who is still happy to chat up girls in their 20s, if only to be subtly amused and totally amazed by the things they say. Still, it’s the things that Sean Hughes says that have drawn a large crowd and other than some illuminating thoughts on living alone and his near-death experience (by 20 minutes to be exact) at the watery hands of the Boxing Day tsunami, those things are disappointingly pedestrian. He chats aimlessly about his limited fame and throws in recurring lines that were weak the first time round while his failed Waterboys singalong is an awkward and wholly regrettable finale. (Brian Donaldson)

Gilded Balloon Teviot, 668 1633, until 26 Aug (not 23), 8.30pm, £12–£14 (£10.50–£12.50).

Sean Hughes

  • 3 stars

The man we thought lost to telly forever returns to his rightful place behind the mic.