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Review: Michael McIntyre and Paul Tonkinson - The Alexandra, Grangetown. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Andrew Dipper   
15 07 2010
ImageIn part two of his bizarre four date tour of Sunderland, Michael McIntyre previewed his upcoming Comedy Roadshow at The Alexandra Pub. With no compere and a sold-out crowd seated in the pub awaiting the UK's most successful comic, comedy convention was thrown out of the window in exchange for the kudos of presenting McIntyre at The Grinning Idiot. Rightly so, too. It was a move that was appropriate given the sold out crowd came purely to see a mainstream comedian - and McIntyre more than lived up to the audience's high expectations, delivering a laugh-a-second set.

Opening the night was Mancunian comic Paul Tonkinson. Having replaced the advertised support act of John Gordillo, Tonkinson delivered a tight twenty minute set indicative of fifteen years' experience doing the circuit, interacting well with the audience and regaling confidently. Though the Mancunian comic was well appreciated by the crowd, Tonkinson's thoughtlessly slapstick routine didn't appeal to myself, and his collection of stereotypes - from German efficiency to French students - left me feeling a little uncomfortable.

However, despite my reservations about Paul Tonkinson, it was clear that the audience paid their 10 not to see him, but to experience British Comedy Award winner Michael McIntyre at his best. Having cancelled his show at London's prestigious Leicester Square to gig at The Alexandra pub in the Sunderland district of Grangetown, McIntyre arrived in Sunderland to, essentially, rehearse and develop material for his upcoming Comedy Roadshow visit to Wearside's Empire theatre.

As Tonkinson introduced McIntyre to the stage, the London-based comic received the loudest round of applause of the evening as the audience anticipated his sixty minute set. After opening by telling the Sunderland audience that they were essentially the litmus test for his Comedy Roadshow, McIntyre proceeded to reel off some clever observations on the Tyne/Wear rivalry and Sunderland city centre, before returning to his usual routines on family life and his time as a comedian.

Despite his essentially ordinary material, it is McIntyre's perfect delivery and talent as a storyteller - the comic's famous mannerisms underpinned, and made, his hour long set - that makes him one of the best comedians of his time.

If you're looking to see some comedy at The Grinning Idiot comedy club, tickets are available from the link below, priced at 10:


http://www.thegrinningidiot.com/
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