Sean McLoughlin: Whatever it Takes (4 stars)

This article is from 2015

Sean McLoughlin: Whatever it Takes

credit: Ed Moore

An intense hour packed with cracking jokes and brutal self-analysis

‘My act is entertaining. It’s just not entertainment.’ Admirers of Sean McLoughlin would beg to differ on that self-summation of his work; anyone who suffers during the course of this often fraught stand-up hour (it was ultimately too much for one front-row occupant to take) might disagree entirely with both statements. Whatever It Takes has so much energy, angst and jokes packed into it, that it’s never less than compelling, even if this wild-eyed comedy loon appears to be losing half of his mind during its depiction.

Discovering that he’s not a big fan of letting agents, he relates a terrible year in which he lost his accommodation in Brighton through flooding (divine retribution he wonders?) and forced to relocate to a somewhat less cultured part of the country. McLoughlin partly wishes that he was more of a mainstream comic trotting out material about ‘Nick Clegg and yeast infections’ but his personal demons drive him down darker avenues.

In analysing his own Mr Hyde nature, he produces excellent lines about Tommy Cooper, self-medication and divorce, before veering bravely towards the confessional at the show’s climax. Quite why McLoughlin is not a bigger name remains something of a mystery. He has passion, jokes and an intense stage presence that has served many other inferior comics well. And as a cap-doff to the middle-ground, there’s a terrifically bad Borat impression halfway through.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 30 Aug, 8.15pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£8–£9).

Sean McLoughlin: Whatever It Takes

  • 4 stars

Live Nation Another calamitous year. Another hour of blisteringly funny stand-up from a man 'on the cusp of far greater recognition' (List). 'The best comedian you haven't heard of yet' (Mark Watson, Time Out). 'At once hilarious and painfully revelatory' ★★★★ ( 'The stand-out stand-up' (Evening Standard).