Review: Josh Widdicombe, St David’s Hall

It’s safe to say that Josh Widdicombe’s profile has never been higher, due to his role on The Last Leg and his eponymous BBC one sitcom. With an increase in profile comes a higher demand, leading to Josh performing at St. David’s Hall last week. Josh himself addressed this, seemingly very happy at the venue being full. Unfortunately, his brand of aloof observational humour didn’t translate fantastically well to the large space.

The show started off well, with support act Ivo Graham performing a short, consistently funny (if seemingly over rehearsed) set about his posh upbringing and his struggle being a virgin while at university. There was no interaction with the audience, but the material was generally good.

Josh meanwhile brought his observational humour to the stage with his trademark, relaxed nature. While it definitely succeeds in making the audience feel at ease, it also isn’t especially engaging. This kind of comedy deals with mundane topics by its definition, so without Michael McIntyre-esque showmanship, it can occasionally fall flat. Attempts to interact with the audience allow for some Cardiff-centric observations, which succeed far more than the interactions themselves. Blame can’t solely be placed with Josh for how dull these audience segments are; the people picked don’t offer a lot of material for him to work with. However, he persists with the questions, searching for something to use, but to no avail.

At one point Widdecombe prefaces a story by saying “All these things tonight genuinely happened to me”, as if anything he has said this evening was particularly extraordinary. Instead, what we got was an evening of remarkably tame observations, with an occasional mildly funny gag.

by Sam Walker