Alan Carr brought fun, laughter and quality entertainment to Valentine’s night at Aberdeen’s Music Hall.
After Covid-19 delays and reschedules, the comedian was finally able to visit the Granite City this year as part of his Regional Trinket stand-up tour.
Carr is best-known for his long running Chatty Man Channel 4 series , which saw him bestowed with a number of accolades including three BAFTA awards.
More recently, his new Life’s A Beach podcast has welcomed guests such as Rylan Clark-Neal and Louis Theroux to talk about all things travel and holidays.
Just last month Carr publicly announced his divorce from husband Paul Drayton. Yet, rather than avoiding the subject completely during his show, it formed the bedrock for Carr to deliver a truly memorable performance on a chilly Monday night in Aberdeen.
Before Carr pepped up the punters with a quick hello, he introduced talented Geordie comedian Louise Young to the Music Hall stage.
Young humorously poked at the crevices of her personality from the get-go (like Carr has done so well throughout his career) and formed a quick rapport with the audience.
From working-class Newcastle to Margaret Thatcher and lesbianism, Young unapologetically covered plenty of topics during her short time on stage.
She showed immense promise for filling a headline tour slot in the near future – though a darker, dingier venue might have encouraged her to delve into edgier territory with her material compared to the brighter, more formal feeling Music Hall space.
Finishing up with a sketch on an arduous Megabus journey, Young left the stage with new Aberdeen fans to add to her growing list.
The main event
A brief interval left just enough time for the audience to grab a quick refreshment before Carr’s mic was placed on centre stage.
Walking on to a rapturous reception, it didn’t take long for the highly experienced comedian to gain control of the venue.
“Aye aye, fit like?” Carr exclaims, his first laughs of the night in the bag. “We’re going to have a party like 10 Downing Street during the pandemic.”
The Aberdeen cold was the subject of Carr’s first few gags – his Slush Puppy reference to weeing in the cold a particular crowd-pleaser.
But from the offset, it was clear just how much class Carr oozed as a stand-up performer.
He demonstrated when to talk, when to breathe and when to stay silent with pin-point precision and showcased the art behind being a stand-up comedian from the first minute to the last.
Donning a white floral shirt, jeans and trainers, Carr’s unpretentiousness as a person is what makes him so adored by his audiences.
After his opening few sketches, Carr touched on his divorce announcement that had appeared in the press just a few weeks ago.
Expecting this to be quickly glossed over, surprisingly, it formed the central theme for the remainder of the show.
Carr talked about being proposed to in Indonesia, having his wedding organised by Adele and discovering his husband’s battles with alcoholism with genuine humour.
Laced among these stories were a number of laughter-inducing side sketches, covering everything from Carr’s sexuality to a sly dig at Dundee involving a car boot sale (which the crowd duly lapped up).
And as the show progressed, Carr’s mesmerising ability to drop in punchlines from previous stories at just the right moments brought a sense of flow to the performance that made it all feel like an informal chat: hence his nickname, the Chatty Man.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a comedy show without some crowd involvement which Carr relished at every opportunity.
Particular highlights included a rogue laugh when Carr mentioned his age (45) which followed on to a Price Is Right style guess the age game among the audience.
Another came when an audience member made the fatal mistake of getting up to visit the toilet mid-set, prompting a “where do you think you’re going?” shriek from Carr before encouraging everyone to watch as he directed them to the exit doors.
Saving the best till last
As Carr graced the stage for an encore, he certainly saved the best till last with a belly-achingly funny story of a night out in Liverpool involving tequila, broken legs and McDonalds chicken nuggets.
If you get the chance to see him perform later this year in Inverness or again in Aberdeen, make sure you stick around until the end. You won’t be disappointed.
Shimmying off stage like a Spanish matador with a rose clenched between his teeth, Carr provided the Aberdeen crowd with a top-class performance brimming with bounds of laughs and love on Valentine’s night.
Alan Carr returns to the north and north-east later this year, visiting Eden Court in Inverness (June 10-12) and Aberdeen Music Hall (June 13). Visit www.alancarr.net for more information.
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