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REVIEW: Dave Spikey ★★★★ at Newcastle Tyne Theatre

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Dave Spikey: Juggling On A Motorbike ★★★★
Newcastle Tyne Theatre & Opera House
Thursday 29th March 2018

Newcastle’s Westgate Road venue continues to be one of the go to venues for comedy with one of their strongest programmes in recent years. Dave Spikey, the co-writer of Phoenix Nights, celebrates performing for over 30 years with a very funny introspective look at the people and circumstances that underpin the comedy that he created over the years.

Despite jointly writing some of the funniest shows on tv that this century has seen perhaps he still needs some introduction. His press blurb said: “Dave had been working in the NHS for 19 years as a Biomedical Scientist when in 1987 someone uttered the immortal words, “You’re really funny, you should be a comedian” and for some reason, he took them seriously!
Only a few short months later he was crowned the winner of the national talent show “Stairway to the Stars”. Larry Grayson, one of the judges, told him that it was a close run thing on the night but what clinched the award for Dave was his routine about a juggler on a motorbike.
Fast forward 13 years (Is that possible?) to Friday 13th October 2000 , the day Dave switched off his microscope for good and found himself, the following Monday, sitting on rain swept local car park dressed as a giant berry! So now in 2017 he celebrates the 30th anniversary of his comedy career.

This is one show that delivered what the PR blurb said it would. Dave used the first act to describe his early years. The funnier material works as we recognise the daft threats our parents used to get us to return home before dark or the absurd mathematical problems we faced at school. Indeed Jack may have decided to solve the angle of a ladder using trigonometry but most of us never needed to once we left school. Of course, school days comes with crazy friendships and often your first embarrassing encounter with the opposite sex and Dave had a take on this too that had the Opera House laughing along.

Dave Spikey is a collector of local news and he brought both some recent examples and some of his all time favourites to the show. These stories confirm that real life is often funnier than fiction.

The second act brought the story up to date from his time working for the NHS in an era when pregnancy tests still involved mice and TB was still a curse that spread throughout society. Dave naturally finds the amusing take on even the most harrowing events. Luckily for us all, Dave then gets involved in the hospital panto and discovers he can entertain and that leads to the talent show win. As I’ve mentioned in reviews, I had time both as a customer and a member of staff in Working Men’s Clubs and hence I totally recognise the difficulties Dave would have faced trying to become established in a land before comedy clubs became established. Indeed, these experiences later formed the basis of That Peter Kay Thing and Phoenix Nights. But this is the key to why Spikey’s material works – it is based upon a real life. The fact that Spikey has spent years living and working in the real world has resulted in material that the audience can relate to and hence find it so funny.

This was a great night of comedy and the 2 hours quickly passed. Many of our first experiences of comedy were at the Tyne Theatre from the 90s when the venue hosted one of the regions first comedy clubs. The venue also featured on the tours of many of the biggest names at the time. We loved shows by Jack Dee, Jo Brand and Steve Wright. Fast forward to 2018 and the Tyne Theatre and Opera House is still the venue the bigger names love to have on their tour. The venue feels intimate for a great atmosphere and yet is big enough for the big tours.

Coming up at The Tyne Theatre and Opera House with ticket links from our affiliate Eventim UK:

Sarah Millican will be appearing on Friday 6, Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 April, Thursday 5, Friday 6 & Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 July, Friday 5 & Sunday 6 October

Easter Panto from Enchanted Entertainment over the Easter weekend - Saturday 31st March and Sunday 1st April

Jon Richardson: Old Man on Wednesday 25 April Tickets:

Menopause the Musical on Thurs 10 May - Starring Cheryl Fergison (EastEnders), Maureen Nolan (The Nolans), Rebecca Wheatley (Casualty) and Hilary O’Neil (ITV’s Copy Cats)

Britain’s Got Talent comedian Daliso Chaponda on Saturday 12 May 2018

Tim Vine: Sunset Milk Idiot on Tuesday 22 & Wednesday 23 May Tickets:

Joe Lycett: I’m About To Lose Control And I Think Joe Lycett - Fri 25 May 2018 and Wednesday 24 & Thursday 25 October – Tickets:

Count Arthur Strong is Alive and Unplugged on Thursday 7th June 2018

Andy Parsons will be appearing as part of Jason Cook's Comedy Club on Saturday 16th June Tickets:

Cirque Berserk on Thursday 21st – Sunday 24th June
Preview: Tickets:

Comedy Dirty Dusting arrives on Friday 29th June with ITV Benidorm's Crissy Rock.
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An Evening with David Sedaris Tuesday 17 July

An Evening with Brian Blessed on Thursday 6th September
Preview:  Tickets:http://

Jimeoin on Saturday 27 October! Tickets:

Dylan Moran on Friday 9th Nov. Tickets:

Sara Pascoe Thursday 18th November

David O’Doherty: You Have To Laugh on Tuesday 27 November Tickets:

Stewart Francis: Into the Punset on Wednesday 28 November Tickets:

For more details about the Tyne Theatre & Opera House and to join their web club see  

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