Ben Van Der Velde’s Chain Letter (2 stars)

This article is from 2013

Ben Van Der Velde’s Chain Letter

Mail-related experiences from Newcastle-native comedian

“We don’t write letters anymore!” In our increasingly digital dependant society, Ben has made it his mission to try and save the handwritten letter for future generations – this forms the rather sweet premise for his debut solo show. He soon proves himself to be a perfectly amiable host who is genuinely invested in the subject matter and can confidently command an audience with ease.

Newcastle native, Ben tells of all his earlier mail related experiences, the good, the bad and at times ugly, with entertaining and relatable gags along the way helping get the show off to a great start. Sadly, this doesn’t last long once he begins regaling us with somewhat unremarkable tales of his human chain letter days which took him around the world reconnecting old friends.

It may not be his style but Ben could stand to take a few more risks with his material. Although this was enjoyable in parts, his pleasant sentiments and anecdotes struggle to translate effectively into an hour long stand-up comedy set. This is unfortunate considering his obvious potential from the outset.

Underbelly, Bristo Square, 0844 545 8252, until 26 Aug (not 12), 4.10pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).

Ben Van der Velde's Chain Letter

  • 2 stars

To combat the instantaneous and forgettable world of texting and social media, Ven Der Velde turned to the forgotten art form of the chain letter.