The loveable Geordie that is Chris Ramsey returned to St David’s Hall on 27th April after previously playing here as tour support for Al Murray (the Pub Landlord). I attend the show on behalf of Quench Magazine and the theatre is busier than I’ve ever seen it. Ramsey’s support is Carl Hutchinson, who plays a solid half hour of high-calibre stand up to an enthusiastic Thursday night crowd.
Hutchinson is very much fitting within that same relatable, pally (and Northern) style as Ramsey, meaning there is a great deal of potential for Carl to increase his following throughout his time as tour support. Some of his narratives have got a certain bitterness to them, but this rarely comes across as being petty. Surely this is the result of his grievances being so widely shared amongst the crowd. The objections are often quite standard, such as a hatred of vaping in non-smokers, but where he takes the ideas is interesting, allowing his natural playfulness to come through.
Next, Chris Ramsey takes to the stage. Ramsey has developed into an incredibly popular stand up comic over recent years. He has worked as a host on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Extra Camp and was recently announced as the new host of the panel show Virtually Famous.
But this newfound ‘celebrity’ status has certainly not gone to Ramsey’s head. In fact, he tries to shaft this title completely, especially since starting a family. His artistic priority remains simply making his audiences laugh – there is no ego here. Chris is surprisingly approachable considering his level of fame, even encouraging audience members to shout out their own contributions, such as their creepiest sleepwalking stories. It’s the personal openness and vulnerability that takes Ramsey’s comedy to another level. And it’s refreshing to see that he is, and views himself as, a regular guy, who is as clueless as the next person when it comes to telling the difference between a tangerine, a mandarin, and a clementine.
This hour and 45 minutes of stand up provides audiences with a well-rounded snapshot view of Chris Ramsey’s professional and personal life. Chris shares stories about his wife Rosie and their young son, and even ends on a humiliating tale about being arrested in his underwear for a crime he knew nothing about, let alone committed. As if to prove my point, he even hangs around in the lobby after the show and makes sure to talk to every single audience member that waited in line. Chris Ramsey’s latest show has an unexpectedly homely feel and yet he remains a real crowd pleaser.