SEANN Walsh is one of the most recognizable faces in UK comedy right now. His new show, One For The Road, is a no holds barred look at early adult life and the gradual creep towards a middle-age, middle-class lifestyle. Our Entertainment Editor Will Stevenson went along to catch the show.
Before Seann takes to the stage, however, is Mark Simmons. Simmons is a self-described “one-liner comedian” and so his act is full of cringe-inducing, eye-rolling, gags and puns.
Though it’s a divisive style of comedy to perform live, Simmons managed to win over the audience early on.
Yet the best moments of his twenty-minute set come when the young comedian goes off script.
When a few audience members enter late, Simmons’ doesn’t take the opportunity to have a pop: he simply restarts his entire set.
His simple, giggle inducing punchlines are shouted back to him as he proclaims, grinning, that he’s invented “karaoke comedy.”
At one point, Simmons tries to initiate the game Chinese Whispers with the crowd, the joke being that he would intentionally leave the mic on.
Unfortunately, the sound man was doing his job too well and took the mic off the speaker, resulting in some great adlibbing from the comedian that was more amusing than the initial gag ever could have been.
After a ten-minute break, it’s time for Seann Walsh.
The Lewisham born comedian doesn’t waste any time with a flashy entrance or picking on his audience, he simply gets on stage and begins telling some quality jokes that resonate with the entire crowd.
@seannwalsh outstanding as usual! Hilarious mate.
— Chris Lever (@chris87lever) October 28, 2016
He begins with a simple one liner: “I’m almost thirty. Yeah, I’m thirty-one,” he tells the audience. It quickly becomes clear that the theme of the show is Walsh wondering exactly what it means to be 31 in 2016.
For the first part of the gig, Walsh takes aim at the middle class that he admits to being a new-found member of.
He attacks diet fads and the technology that assists them, pulling disgusted faces at the idea of juicing your foods.
If it’s so “delicious,” as argued by many followers of the trend, Walsh asks why they don’t just “f*****g eat the food? I’ve never had to juice a chicken nugget!”
He mentions how living with his girlfriend has changed him – and not her – whilst taking a look back at his twenties with a nostalgic glint in his eye. The show features many jokes about the growing up that he’s done over the past few years; growing up that he particularly didn’t want to happen.
A moment of realisation came, he laughs, when he congratulated himself on cutting an avocado directly in two. “That’s when I realised I was middle class,” he jokes.
In the last twenty minutes Walsh really shines bright. He prefaces his final segment with a warning that he wasn’t going to do a traditional encore as “I wouldn’t be sure if you’d all still be here,” if he went off-stage just to come back out.
This is the perfect set up to a unique, dark and hard hitting sketch where he acts out his own subconscious, anxiety-ridden post bed-time niggles. He adopts a Bond-villain accent and reveals a number of his troubles to the captive audience.
At several points it felt slightly too real, as if Walsh was truly letting his guard down. He might well have been, but as soon as the audience began to feel uncomfortable he’s spin it back around and have them belly laughing just moments later.
Overall, Walsh demonstrated that he is a master of timing, character and structure, with long-running gags buried throughout the show and popping up at the perfect moments to secure the most laughter.
His personal, relatable style of comedy has so far won him many accolades and TV appearances and “One For The Road” only improves his mighty comedy resumé.
By Will Stevenson