COMEDY REVIEW: STEWART LEE


ESP's comedy columnist, Sarah Slack is always looking out for the best comedy nights coming to the city and caught the Stewart Lee show at the New Theatre in Peterborough - one of many top comedians heading to the venue...


Now that the city’s venues have opened their doors and going out is becoming a regular part of our weekends once again, it’s been great to see how many local theatres are continuing to host some exceptional and established comedians for us to enjoy right here in Peterborough.


I was fortunate enough to recently attend a rescheduled gig of Stewart Lee’s Snowflake/Tornado show at the New Theatre, which was not only originally planned for 2021 but Lee just so happened to be my last pre-lockdown gig all the way back in February 2020.



Obviously the beginnings of 2020 remain fuzzy in my mind for many reasons, but whilst there were a few familiar themes it was great to see how much of Lee’s show had been chopped and changed to reflect the current political climate. The first half of his show, Tornado, covered his thoughts on his position amongst his comedic peers in response to realising Netflix had mistakenly provided a description for one of his TV shows as the blurb for the B-movie horror film Sharknado. It also contained an anecdote about seeing American comedian Dave Chappelle perform at the Leicester Square Theatre in London and a subsequent routine where you’ll never be able to look at rotisserie chicken at the supermarket in the same way again…



The second half of his show, Snowflake, then focussed on a review of Lee’s stand-up comedy provided by British journalist Tony Parsons which called into question both Lee’s political ideologies and the comedic devices which he has so far built a successful and established career with. Known for providing anti-comedy and constantly breaking the fourth wall between performer and audience, the entire evening seemed to fly by in an instant due to Lee offering a comedic experience like no other, highlighting an absolute mastery over every single aspect of his performance and an overt willingness to make audiences aware of his control over the show itself.


I’d thoroughly recommend any comedy fans reading this to book themselves tickets to any of his future shows, and to keep an eye out for a new television show from Lee coming to TV within the next few months.


With many more fantastic comedy gigs coming to the New Theatre over the next few months, including Dawn French on September 15 and Jongleurs: Legends on September 30, make sure you keep up to date with their latest shows by visiting www.newtheatre-peterborough.com.



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