Harry and Paul have been around for a long time. According to them, around 25 years, in fact. And with a body of work that big to work from, you’d assume that there’d be a juicy variety of material to put on show on a fairly mild November 5. And you’d be right.
The emphasis is certainly on the older stuff, which means we get to see Lee 7 Lance, Loadsamoney, Stavros and even (the now widowed) Wayne Slob.
But we do get newer stuff too, like Charles and Sheridan, the surgeons; Mr Cholmondely-Warner; Marcus, flogging his tat (“maaaazung) Mwah! Mwah!”). It’s been a while since I saw the Fast Show tour, and this time I was a lot closer to the stage (only half a dozen rows, but thankfully enough to avoid the two bits or audience participation that happened), What this means is that you can see the performers much more clearly, and can get much more of a feel for pacing and mood than if you’re further back riding the laughter waves and screen-watching. And this is good, because they were clearly enjoying themselves. They were certainly trying to get each other to corpse earlier in the show, and there are a couple of really good throwaway gags that repeat during the course of proceedings.
The other thing to note is that Johnny Depp is quite right: Whitehouse is utterly phenomenal. His range is something to behold, from the obvious stuff, to my favourite sketch of the evening, the Travelling Salesman and the Pub Landlady, which was a feature of their most recent series. The live version manages to capture some of the rather creepy atmosphere in a fairly clever way, which I won’t spoil.
There are some nice filmed inserts, in particular one for Kevin the Teenager, and things zip along at a nice pace.
It’s nice to see them on the road together. And I got to neck a couple of quick (and perfectly acceptable) hints in the Percy afterwards, which is something I’ve not had chance to do for many a year.