Full House For Moorhouse

Justin Moorhouse

Walker Theatre

Sunday 19th February 2017

Not surprisingly enough given our current political turmoil people  just love comedy, so turnout for a Sunday night in February was impressive. It was obvious there were a lot of fans in expecting Justin Moorhouse to be as funny  if not funnier, than his last visit to the town. Did he succeed? More in a moment.

First of all we turn our attention to the amazingly good support act, Danny McLaughlin. He alone could and should be filling theatres. With an accessible style he was daft northern humour at its best.

Likening the insides of your socks to catfish when you are drunk was just one of Danny's hilarious gags. It is a dangerous gamble opening with a man who in essence could be fumier than the main act. He is absolutely hilarious and with his ability to win the crowd in seconds the audience lapped it up.

Justin Moorhouse, who incidentally had his face permanently painted as a tiger in series two of, Peter Kay’s hilarious “Phoenix Nights,” is a very funny man. He made himself at home with the partisan crowd very quickly and the rhythm of the comedy was skilfully weaved by this man. Rhythm is one of the great markers and helps a reviewer to judge an audience/comedian relationship. If all is good one can follow therhythm between the distribution of the gags and the laughter. They should never be more than about ten seconds apart.

Less of the science and the semiotics of comedy the bottom line is , “he wer’ a reet good laugh.”  As one might say if you hail from his native Lancashire.

Giving the impression that you are lost in a story and then brilliantly playing the reveal, or the punch line, is a skill reserved for the cream of British Comedy. Its what makes comedy. Moorhouse’s ability to take you along for the ride is highly appealing and tremendously engaging.

What is comedy? One good definition could be that it is all the things that have happened to you but you didn’t get the link at the time. A skilful comedian will point that out for you and it’s that realisation, that moment of lucidity with your own self, that makes the gag work.

Moorhouse has the talent and an endearing way of drawing you into his stories. His friends he talks of, we can all identify with and his references are all featured in the backcloth behind all our lives. We can all see the scenes he paints that up to now we had misbelieved we were the only ones ever to have experienced what he is talking quite plainly about. That’s clever.

If man was to create the funniest joke in the world , one that would kill us laughing. Give that line to a pre-programmed robot to read out and the chances are it wouldn’t be funny. It is the body, the gestures, the looks and the asides where that joke lies. It is a skill we all feel we have a little of. In truth its best left to the pros! Maybe comedy is something you shouldn’t try at home; just leave it to the daredevils.

What a very verbose way of saying  Moorhous is good, he is hot and he is now. Catch up with him  wherever you see he is on. He is worth it; he is a  gradely, good night out.

This is a Three Star Review

Owen J. Lewis

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet.

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