Buxton Opera House
STAR RATING: 4/5
The star of BBC2’s If I Ruled The World and BBC Radio 4’s News Quiz, who is infamous for, among other things, his scraping down-a-chalkboard-singing renditions on Radio 4’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, is on an occasional tour with his one-man show, writes Chris Hadley.
Sadly, on the evening, Buxton Opera House was probably only half full, and Hardy wasn’t feeling too well. However, this didn’t stop his quirky ramblings on topics ranging from politics to religion. I particularly liked his views on death (I live each day like it’s my last – I stay in bed drifting in and out of semi-consciousness) and on the culture of landlordism (I recently sold my two-bedroom flat for £250,000 – much to the consternation of my landlady).
Look out for the former winner of the prestigious Perrier Award’s satirical variation on a theme of embarrassing your children with the naked photos story and his rantings about bicycles. He missed out on a chance to poke fun at the lycra outfits and the colour co-ordinated accessories that the ardent cyclist wears, but his ideas about where these two-wheeled contraptions should be consigned are certainly innovative!
For those of us who are working in a PC world – and by this I am referring to the way in which we should be talking and thinking, not to stacking shelves in a computer shop – Hardy will draw chortles as we identify with his observations of the system going into correctness-overdrive.
There was uncertainty within the audience about whether to heckle, and Hardy’s performance lost a little of its edge because of this – I am sure he would have relished having verbal reactions to bounce off. Nevertheless, it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. If he is coming to a venue near you, he is definitely worth seeing.
Chris Hadley is a practitioner-manager, Derby Council
● Jeremy Hardy is appearing at the Corn Exchange, Newbury on Friday 8 June.
● Future tour dates