High-speed humourd

MOST people will have come across Russell Howard on TV's Mock the Week, or Never Mind the Buzzcocks, or on his Radio 6 show.

Russell Howard, Corn Exchange, Ipswich last night

MOST people will have come across Russell Howard on TV's Mock the Week, or Never Mind the Buzzcocks, or on his Radio 6 show.

But seeing him on the relatively restrained confines of the box or hearing him on the radio is no preparation for watching the mini maelstrom he becomes during his live act.

He is a barely contained bundle of energy, sparking round the stage like a Catherine Wheel that's escaped the nail, a three-year-old who's been force-fed blue Smarties.


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While his material is definitely adult, he delivers it with great charm and no little wit. What would easily be leaden and crude in the hands of lesser talents is somehow softened by the mad man-child delivery.

Among the repeatable highlights was a brilliant anthropomorphic vision of our national newspapers; have you ever imagined what The Daily Telegraph or the Mail would be like as people? What about the Queen, lying in bed with the sheets pulled up to her chin, impersonating herself on a stamp?

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He deserved his sell-out crowd - no mean feat at the Corn Exchange and something a number of bigger names have failed to do - and he left them buzzing at the end of it. His is the kind of show that leaves you feeling better about life then before you saw him, surely the mark of a top comedian.

He jammed about two hours' worth of material into little over half the time with his high-speed antics; the same show delivered by Jo Brand (or, come to that, his engaging support comic Steve Hall) would have stretched into Thursday.

When he asked for questions at the end someone asked when he was coming back to Ipswich. He didn't know, but keep an eye out for his return if you missed him this time.

Dom Castle

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