Rob Beckett, Civic Theatre – 09/10/2015

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I always enjoy feeling like I’ve learnt something at the theatre and after seeing Rob Beckett on Friday night I feel like I’ve learnt one of the most important lessons of all: don’t be late to a Rob Beckett gig. You will be picked on and end up on the other end of Beckett’s brutal crowd interaction.  It’s always hilarious to discover the backgrounds of people in the audience and Beckett had an almost suspiciously good knack for finding people who offered great comedic value – so much so that I almost thought he’d hired them all to walk in late. I think his best discovery was certainly Ray who had failed to arrive on time, despite driving at 100mph in his ‘suped up Fiesta’.

The only thing that would stress me out more than being late to a Rob Beckett gig would be being without the internet, but this is another situation in which I found myself on Friday. After a month of concerts and returning to college my mobile data allowance had taken a bit of a hit so I was left stranded in the interval with nothing to entertain me but a driving theory mock test (which I passed – only just). The Civic possesses an incredibly enticing wifi called CivicGuest (or something like that) but alas my hacking skills could not get past the password on this occasion. I did try asking an usher but they looked at me blankly so I decided to return to my seat and continue trying to work out what on earth the stopping distance is for a car travelling at 70mph.

Beckett’s show itself was excellent with a range of hilarious jokes mostly based on his life. My favourite of these was definitely his description of his dealings with injury lawyers who phone up the house. Beckett apparently tells the person calling his name is ‘Ed Noed’ and that he sustained an injury whilst working at a supermarket. And his injury? His head has fallen off. I also feel like I learnt something here; of course it’s better to waste their time with a fake injury rather than just hanging up the phone!

Rounding up the evening with a Q and A, Beckett proved yet again his uncanny knack for discovering the craziest members of the audience when he discovered Paul, who’s interesting Christmas story was that he left his wife on boxing day. It’s always interesting to see what sort of people different comedians attract!

As we left the theatre Beckett positioned himself at the door to shake our hands and thank us for coming. A nice, if slightly unusual touch, but one that certainly didn’t go amiss with all the women outside afterwards who christened him a ‘right lovely chap’. I agree.

Rob Beckett’s ‘Mouth of the South’ tour continues until December.

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