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REVIEW: Being ‘Right Here, Right Now’ for John Bishop’s gig was worth it – albeit tricky

john bishop comedy 2022 aberdeen
Comedian John Bishop. Image: Aberdeen Performing Arts

“You people are made of tough stuff,” said comedy superstar John Bishop as he took to the P&J Live stage.

“Down south they would have called off the show at 10am.”

The “Right Here, Right Now” show went ahead as planned last night (February 18) – a decision questioned by some comedy fans who weren’t able to safely get to P&J Live due to Storm Eunice which swept across Aberdeenshire and caused travel disruptions.

But those who managed to make it to P&J Live were in for a good night of observational humour.

Before the main event, Glasgow’s Ray Bradshaw, a double Scottish Comedian of the Year finalist, warmed up the crowd with stories about his unusual upbringing.

From trying to get out of a speeding ticket by pretending he couldn’t hear to not realising his dad could lip-read, his set mainly contained anecdotes about being born into a family of deaf parents.

John Bishop in Aberdeen
John Bishop brought his new tour to Aberdeen’s P&J Live.

John Bishop is all for Scottish independence – under one condition

Following a short interval, John was greeted by enthusiastic applause.

The stand-up comic, who just kicked off his tour earlier this week, started off his set by telling the audience he had to rewrite some of his material because jokes about Donald Trump simply weren’t as funny now as they were back in 2019.

So instead, John transported the P&J Live audience back to March 2020 and reminisced about drinking a lot of rosè during the first lockdown and his clever use of Peloton – who knew it could be so motivational?

The Scottish independence was also the subject of the Liverpudlian’s first few gags. Announcing he’d be pro-independence, John seemed to have won over his Aberdeen fans.

“But let’s start Scotland from Birmingham,” suggested John to the laughing room.

Anecdotes about married life and modern dating

His set comprised many tales of married life, with his wife Melanie being the butt of most of his anecdotes.

The funnyman also fit in a gentle rant about how a white, straight, middle-aged man is a rarity to see on TV nowadays and why his jokes about statues didn’t go down well in Bristol.

The much-talked-about topic of modern dating kept cropping up throughout the night, with John comparing it to how he met his life at the library more than two decades ago.

The well-seasoned comedian knew it wouldn’t be a stand-up show without some crowd involvement. He formed a quick rapport with his Aberdeen fans and poked fun at the three-time married man in the audience and the bloke who struggled to find his seat.

The laughs flew steadily throughout the show even though some of his punchlines were quite predictable.

And while there were no moments of groundbreaking originality, John’s everyman comedy and observational humour were a hit with the audience.

Starring in Doctor Who

The comedian has achieved huge success with his stand-up gigs as well as his own comedy, entertainment and documentary shows including John Bishop’s Britain, John Bishop’s Only Joking, John Bishop: In Conversation With… and many more.

But he said that starring in Doctor Who as Dan Lewis, the newest companion to Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor, was the role that changed his life.

One of the funniest gags of the night came in towards the end of the show thanks to a special musical number – but we won’t spoil it for you.

And just before he said goodbye to his Aberdeen fans, he announced that there would be no encore and “the end is the end” – because in what other profession would people pretend to leave work only to return for 10 more minutes?

When it comes to John Bishop’s stand-up, you simply know what you’re going to get – an old-style mainstream comedy that is sure to entertain many more fans on his extensive tour.

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