A packed and enthusiastic Lichfield Garrick audience welcomed comedian Michael McIntyre as he worked through new material in a one-off “in progress” show.
Tickets for the night had sold out in double-quick time – and his reception from those packed into the city theatre on an exceptionally warm night showed just why.
While not as fully polished a stand-up routine as we may have become accustomed to from his TV performances, the funnyman demonstrated his sharp observations on everyday life, with even those segments that may still be very much works in progress showing just why he has become a household name.
Without giving too much of away on his new material, covid, parenting and general family life were all, unsurprisingly, on the agenda, occasionally scribbling notes at times when particular topics went down well.
But having admitted he doesn’t really tell traditional jokes that often, the comedian showed just why he doesn’t need a repertoire of standard gags as the highlights of the evening were his various interactions with the audience.
From protecting a local estate agent from a lynch mob to the merits of the M6 Toll, McIntyre’s ability to put a crowd at ease and quickly engage with the topics coming from those in front of him was clear to see. He even managed to get a lesson in local history – if not local accents – from tour guide Jono Oates.
We were told that the evening was the comedian’s way of “collecting jokes” for future shows – well, if the laughter helped reinforce how much of his material worked, then those of us fortunate enough to get a ticket will be pleased to know we helped send the funnyman on his way back down the toll road with plenty of positives.
The night was a fantastic opportunity to see a big name in Lichfield – hopefully we’ll see more top comedians giving the Garrick a whirl when they want to warm-up for the big venues and arena tours across the country.