Chris Stokes: Altruism in Birds (3 stars)

This article is from 2015

Chris Stokes: Altruism in Birds

Astute storytelling from a self-effacing yet compelling act

If Chris Stokes invites you to sit down and listen to him tell stories about his life for an hour, just do it. It might well make you a better person. An introspective and thoughtful comedian who looks about 12 but has a wisdom far beyond his years, Stokes has been divorced, suffered a mental breakdown and is a strict vegan. What could be funny about that?

Turns out quite a bit, as Stokes retells his more traumatic anecdotes in a conversational style that puts everyone at ease. His self-effacing insight and emotional candour make for an authentic connection that is so welcoming it softens the audience up for some fantastic, well thought-out jokes that invite reflection.

Stokes is a wonderful storyteller. His observations on his divorce are good but anyone that can talk at length about a baby seagull on a canal or the daily challenges of a charity shop volunteer while keeping a laughing crowd on the edge of their seats is gifted indeed. This is a solid hour of great stand-up that, like everything in Chris Stokes’ life, can surely only get better with time.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 30 Aug, 10.45pm, £7.50–£9.50 (£6.50–£8.50).

Chris Stokes: Altruism in Birds

  • 3 stars

Phil McIntyre Management Chris (Dave's One Night Stand, BBC Radio 4) was a comedian, then a van driver, and now he's a comedian again. He also used to have a juicer but doesn't now. He tried to convince himself a change was as good as a rest but, looking back, it was clearly a breakdown. Now he's back finding the funny. A…