REVIEW: Sarah Millican at Newcastle Tyne Theatre
With support from Gearoid Farrelly
Newcastle Tyne Theatre & Opera House
Until Saturday 6th October 2018
The Tyne Theatre continues its cracking year for stand up comedy with several dates from South Shields very own Sarah Millican. Tyneside’s Queen of observation comedy was on top form and had laughter echoing around Newcastle’s historic venue throughout the 2 hour show. Never cruel, occasionally rude but always in tune with the audience: Sarah has developed into a slick, yet still edgy, performer.
Sarah came on stage to personally introduce the support act, Gearoid Farrelly, who quickly got the Newcastle crowd onside in a set which seemed to be over very quickly. Starting with the joys of moving in your boyfriend and discovering the harsh realities of living with someone, Gearoid’s observational style mirrored that of the headliner. As the audience recognised the humour in daft situations they found themselves laughing along. By the time we had the tales of adopting a 3 legged rescue greyhound he had succeeded in warming the crowd up. It seemed to be over so quickly as Sarah returned to the stage to start her set without an interval.
It seemed unusual for the main act to segue straight in after the support and then split up their set with an interval – but it worked. Sarah was quick to set the tone for the show by pointing out that she was having issues with her newly fitted sanitary towel resulting in her standing in a strange way.
Sarah pointed out that she’d started as a comic 13 years ago with a set discussing her, then, recent divorce. I quickly reflected how we had seen Sarah at various points in her career. This included preview shows above pubs and a gig at Live Theatre, early on in her career, in which an audience member just wouldn’t shut up and the fledgling comedian handled the heckler with deft skill. We had Sarah quickly down as one to watch and we were really pleased when the Shields comic started to appear on the TV. This was partly down to the fact she was different to the stiff smug men that regularly spouted predictable material to try to shock rather than entertain. Sarah was different, you knew someone like Sarah.
So what did we get? Sarah isn’t afraid to discuss the lives of women. We get laughs from the problems with not just periods but bra fitting too. It is much more than just that though, as relationships also feature strongly in the set. She works up and down the tiers in the theatre taking suggestions and stories from time to time – this isn’t a performer who just works across the front row in a lazy way, asking people their name and occupation.
The intimate stories are from a female perspective. It makes you realise how few female comics are out there. Sarah is very funny and yet she is a rare find on the comedy circuit as the stories work as you empathise with the crazy things she suggests. The humour is driven through the recognisability of day to day survival.
Sarah was always very tuned into the northern psyche. However what struck me last night on this performance, which is towards the end of a year of touring, is that she has a very quickfire style of delivery, kicking out the start of the next line before the laughter fully dies down from the previous observation. This builds up the pace and energy in the room.
The second half of the show was more personal in some ways. Sarah has lived the last few years in the public eye. From divorce to steady boyfriend and now to marriage, she isn’t afraid to say it as it is. She states her position on body image and the poison that is spewed forth from women’s magazines. In reaction to this she has set up a podcast @StandardIssueUK / http://standardissuemagazine.com/ which began life as an online magazine.
Leaving to collect our complementary badges, we had been thoroughly entertained by someone whose profile, quite rightly, continues to grow.
Review by Stephen Oliver
Tickets are available from our affiliates Eventim UK for the comedy shows that are coming to the grade 1 listed Tyne Theatre on Newcastle’s Westgate Road http://bit.ly/TYNEtheatretickets.
Jimeoin – Saturday 27th October http://bit.ly/JimeoinTix
Sarah Pascoe – Thursday 1st November http://bit.ly/SarahPTix
Jason Cook’s Comedy Club – Saturday 10th November http://bit.ly/JCookComedyTyne
The Roast Battles - Monday 12th November http://bit.ly/RoastBattles
Tom Allen – Wednesday 14th November http://bit.ly/TomAllenNCL
David O’Doherty: You Have To Laugh – Tuesday 27th November http://bit.ly/DavidODohertyTYNE
Stewart Francis: Into the Punset - Wednesday 28 November http://bit.ly/StewFrancisNCL
Rich Hall's Hoedown - Friday 30th November http://bit.ly/RichHallNCL
Miss Rory – A Christmas Rory II - Monday 17th December http://bit.ly/MissRORY
And in 2019…
Daniel Sloss – Wednesday 23rd January http://bit.ly/DanielSlossNCL
Lost Voice Guy - Sunday 17th February http://bit.ly/LostVoiceAtTyne
Dame JoanCollinsDBE – Wednesday 27th February http://bit.ly/JoanCollinsTyne
Carl Hutchinson: I Know I Shouldn’t Behave Like This – Saturday 2nd March http://bit.ly/CarlHutchTyne
Nish Kumar: It’s In Your Nature To Destroy – Friday 22nd March http://bit.ly/NishkumarNCL
Russell Kane – Saturday 27th April http://bit.ly/NCLRussellKane
Paul Merton's Impro Chums - Friday 31st May http://bit.ly/PMertonNCL
James Acaster - Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999 – Saturday 2nd November http://bit.ly/JamesACASTER