Addison’s foray into the world of TV and Radio led him to achieve great success in the political satire In the Thick of It and subsequent spin-off film In the Loop, which certainly raised a cult following. He has also recently become a regular panellist on Mock the Week, appeared in Have I Got News For You and even hosted his own E4 program Show and Tell. Although Addison has become well-known on the TV circuit, his career in comedy is deeply rooted in live performance.
I was intrigued to see how this TV personality would match up to my expectations in his live stand-up show. Addison bounded onto the stage claiming to be his own support act, which undoubtedly left him a lot of extra work to do in warming up the crowd. This was evident in the half-an-hour struggle it took Addison to gain an appreciative round of applause from the audience. His style is rather erratic, and as he fumbled through his opening jokes, I began to worry about the remainder of the show.
“I love Nottingham,” announced Addison— like we’ve not heard that one before. His opening material focused heavily upon politics and current affairs, including musings upon the riots, which Addison likened to a soap-drama, asking the audience if they too enjoyed ‘The Croydon Episode’. His political attacks were aimed mainly at Cameron, but needless to say Milliband didn’t escape scot-free either and this seemed like a deliberate attempt not to exclude various portions of his audience. Addison later moved onto the Royal family; musing upon his outlook as a Republican as well as pondering how amusing it would be to see Prince Philip in charge. By the end of the first half though, I was wondering whether Addison was a one-trick pony armed with attacks on political policy and middle class views of Britain.
However, the second half was much better, and Addison really seemed to turn it around. He offered a series of more personal anecdotes themed around how we struggle to think for ourselves; how we align ourselves with one newspaper at an early age, whose views we regurgitate for the rest of our lives. This half was undoubtedly heavily scripted, but this worked so much better than the ramblings of the first half, ensuring Addison delivered plenty of material that had the audience in fits of laughter. His honest and likeable nature meant his comedy was well received, particularly when he joked about his level of personal fame and quipped about his own venture into the world of advertising.
Addison makes no bones about his middle-class lifestyle, and refreshingly, he isn’t afraid to exploit it in the name of comedy. He certainly knows his demographic and how to appeal to them. This does limit his scope to some extent though, as he admitted his fan base features a strong Saga influence! Even though he took a while to get going, once he settled into his much stronger second half, Addison did not disappoint and was much more successful in his delivery of some well-worked and entertaining material.
Chris Addison ‘The Time Is Now, Again’ will continue to tour the country from 1st February 2012 until 15th June 2012.