Review: I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, Ipswich Regent, February 10

I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue team of Jack Dee, Graeme Garden, Barry Cryer, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Jerem

I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue team of Jack Dee, Graeme Garden, Barry Cryer, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Jeremy Hardy - Credit: Archant

As the capacity audience will no doubt confirm I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue isn’t so much the antidote to panel games it is the ultimate panel game.

Graeme Garden and Barry Cryer in I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue

Graeme Garden and Barry Cryer in I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue - Credit: Archant

With rounds like One Song To The Tune of Another, Just A Minim, Sound Charades and the geographical nightmare of Mornington Crescent, after a dazzling 42 years, it is still has an amazing ability to reduce audiences to helpless laughter with a mixture inspired silliness, absurdity and straight-faced innuendo.

The show has also managed to survive the death of host Humphrey Lyttleton in 2008 and in Jack Dee has found an equally dry and disparaging frontman. It was clear from the stage that Clue’s regular players Graeme Garden, Barry Cryer and Tim Brooke-Taylor along with long-standing guest star Jeremy Hardy still get a huge kick from the show.

Graeme Garden was able to reduce Jack Dee to helpless laughter in only the second offering in the game In Your Pants – it’s game involving film titles and Jack Dee adding the phrase In Your Pants after every suggestion. Garden’s suggestion was The Blob.

Pianist Colin Sell continues to provide the musical backing and seems to be gaining a tremendous following with the audience which is just as well as Dee’s appreciation of Sell’s talents is no greater than Humph’s was.

There was also a commendable amount of local research and plenty of gags with local references. My favourite was “Thieves have broken into Ipswich Town’s trophy room... and made off with the carpet.”

I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue remains the jewel in the crown of radio comedy and proves that giving witty people silly things to do is a recipe for timeless entertainment.

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Andrew Clarke

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