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Enta da STAGE: What happened with Vegas…

December 22, 2009

Just The Tonic with Johnny Vegas: Comedy Review

At this festive time of year, people’s moods generally tend to go one of two ways. If you’re an eight-year-old high on sugary sweets and the joyous expectations of what the season may bring, Christmas is a wondrous time. If you are an adult then the dreary weather, the financial downturn and the lack of anything other than period dramas and repeats on television can turn the winter months into the dourest of times.

What better way then to diffuse the doom and gloom than with Just The Tonic’s Christmas comedy extravaganza at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall? This year compere Johnny Vegas was on hand to help melt away those winter blues faster than hurling a hot cup of gluhwein in the face of Frosty the Snowman. 
    
Johnny Vegas tickled funny bones and set the tone for the night
    
His intensely personal and even more intensely funny accounts of touring the circuit on his own and visiting strip clubs in St Helens where the dancers know your name and ask how your nan’s dodgy back is doing tickled most funny bones and set the tone for the evening.
    
First up was Canadian Phil Nichol’s boisterous set and its high-octane mix of accents, songs and ‘jazz ballet’. The highlight was the comedian’s song I’m The Only Gay Eskimo which was performed in a number of styles from Nirvana to Morrissey and with the help of ‘Pete’, an unfortunate audience member hauled in from the front row.
    
Charlie Baker offered advice on tapas etiquette & danced to Public Enemy
    
Charlie Baker’s charming West Country versions of swing classics, advice on tapas etiquette and dancing to Public Enemy delighted all and sundry before the floppy haired Will Smith, writer and star of BBC4’s political satire The Thick Of It, bounded onto the stage. Playing on his supposed toffishness, the comedian mused on organic food, kids swearing, coolness and why watching Moonraker is better than sex.
    
The night then took a bluer turn with the arrival of Australian Jim Jeffries and I have to say that I have never heard the ‘naughty C-word’ repeated so many times in 20 minutes. Ending with a sing-along rendition of The Pogues classic Fairytale Of New York, and after numerous festive costume changes, Johnny Vegas and the crew turned this show into one of the most twisted pantomimes ever witnessed. A well recommended watch.
    

Just The Tonic’s new Nottingham venue will open in the city centre in March 2010

Originally published at ng-magazine.com, Tuesday December 22 2009, 10.30am

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