Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

The comic brilliance of Lee Mack

With bums on all 2000 seats, Lee Mack's sold out Going Out tour arrives in Belfast and what a treat it is.

Coming on to thumping dance music and dimmed lights, Lancashire man Mack (41) picks one of the unfortunates in the front row and noiselessly ushers him into a large trunk on wheels. With the trunk moved off stage, the music fades. Mack's first words: “There's no magic, I just didn't like the look of him.”

And so it begins, an hour and 35 minutes of comic brilliance.

Charming, savage, and constantly pacing. Mack's material, delivery and enthusiasm can only delight.

Nothing and no-one is safe. Cockneys, Geordies, Irish, Welsh and Pakistanis all get their share.

Audience participation can often look forced, with pre-set homogeneous answers depending on location, gender and response. But Lee Mack's brilliance lies in his explorations of the ad hoc.

Those familiar with Mack's sitcom Not Going Out, aren't getting what he's about. Yes, he has that polished look suited for TV, but his mouth and mind are too explosive for the constraints of a script.

Mack's mouth may keep him from the kind of TV he so richly deserves, but it'll keep theatres full for years to come.

Conor O'Neill

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