Rob Brydon makes an exuberant appearance at Inverness Eden Court as part of his UK tour. His break from stand-up hasn’t dented his confidence; bursting on stage he elicits laughs rapidly and often. He is delightfully insulting to the crowd, admonishing one laughing audience member for “cackling like a witch”.
Audience participation makes up a big part of the show, and a big part of his appeal. He gets to know his audience before ribbing them without too much venom. He styles himself as the fashion police, gently berating the lack of sartorial effort made by members the front row.
On chatting with the crowd, he identifies ages ranging from 13 to 80, reflecting his broad appeal. He doesn’t miss a beat, even following the world’s most random audience question. It’s all fodder for his disapprobation.
There are some well thought out set pieces. He regales tales of parenthood as a 53 year-old and recalls the dangers of a 1970’s playground.
Brydon has an incredibly good singing voice (He is Welsh after all). Accompanying himself on guitar, a highlight is a rendition of “All Through the Night” movingly sung in the beautiful Welsh language. Moving, that is, until he “translates” it into English and it takes an unexpected turn. He flips the mood in an instant and the big belly laughs return, right on cue.
As well as music, Brydon is well known for his impressions. Anecdotes peppered with highly credible impressions of well -known characters including Mick Jagger and Ronnie Corbett are particularly well received. His fantasy version of “I’m a Celebrity Get me Out of Here” provides ample opportunity for him to let rip from his repertoire of celebrity impressions, to great comic effect.
This is not edgy stand-up; he is more likely to push boundaries in his character comedy. It may be populist, but it’s not any the less entertaining for it.