THERE are several things you expect when you go to see a stand-up comedy show. Especially when the comic is national treasure Davies.

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Taking a break from QI and returning to his stand up roots, Davies is back on the comedy circuit following a 10-year absence and tonight took to the stage at the Regent Theatre, Ipswich.

Despite the long break, Davies still managed to combine those vital elements of a successful stand-up show - the belly laughs, the sense of fear that you may be the target of a joke and the moments where you cautiously scan the faces of your neighbours before giving in and giggling at a slightly risque one-liner.

The show was a sell out performance, meaning Davies was quickly able to identify where the latecomers should be seated and in true comic style struck up banter with them as they snuck in.

Ad libbing, he warmed the audience up by getting them all to laugh at the poor woman who missed the start.

Cleverly he got the majority on side by stirring up the rivalry with Norwich, meaning they were able to turn a blind eye when he turned his sharp tongue on Ipswich - which he last visited in 1999.

Apparently he was expecting straw on the floor, sheep in the aisles and tractors in the car park.

Showing his professionalism, Davies managed to keep going even when his Chris Hoy jokes fell flat, eventually getting us back on side.

The references to his QI experiences were the clear winner of the show, proving many of the audience were fans.

In the time he has been away, Davies has undergone something of a life change. He has carved out a career as a successful actor, tied the knot and become a father. And it is these developments in his life that are the focus of his Life is Pain tour.

His convoluted, slightly surreal style of story telling make the build up just as entertaining as the crux point, if you can keep up with his tale.

Davies, less controversial than some TV comedians, still manages to cut close to the wire, making you cringe on the outside but laugh on the inside.

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