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After several rescheduled dates due to Covid-19, ESP comedy columnist Sarah Slack reviews the greatly-anticipated performance of Frank Skinner’s latest tour Showbiz at the New Theatre…

Whilst the beginning of 2020 will likely be remembered as a very confusing and unpredictable time, it’s surreal to think that it was way back in March 2020 when I was first writing in ESP about Frank Skinner’s latest tour Showbiz.

His Peterborough date at the New Theatre was originally scheduled to tour in April 2020, however fast forward to September 2021 and despite several rescheduled dates since then, it was great to see Frank Skinner finally perform to a packed audience last weekend.

Beginning the show was support act Gareth Edwards, a Bournemouth-based comedian who despite some initial awkward moments at the beginning of his set later succeeded to get the audience on his side thanks to his self-deprecating humour.

He also managed to influence attendees into singing along to songs written about his vasectomy and the problems with online shopping – given how well they were received it would have perhaps been wiser for him to have performed a few more songs as part of his support set in order to get the audience properly warmed up.

Following a quick interval it was then time for Frank Skinner to take to the stage for what was a masterfully performed and effortlessly entertaining evening of traditional stand-up comedy, as Frank showed absolutely no hesitation in skillfully interacting with the audience and performing punchlines at his own pace.

Frank had some great routines about Bruce Forsyth and the perils of joining a conga dance whilst also using his show to fire some shots at Prince Andrew and all of the other various scandals the Royal family have entered into recently, however even the crudest and most controversial of comments were received with laughter and appreciation from the audience.

The structure of the show overall was very casual, with jokes and anecdotes often going from one topic to another with no real connection at all, however the show’s loose feel gave Frank ample opportunities to interact with the audience about the trials and tribulations of becoming older and the joys of finally owning a pensioner’s bus pass.

What really came across was just how much of a warm and endearing presence Frank has on stage, and overall it was fantastic to spend the evening in the company of one of the country’s most-loved comedians.

For more information on the New Theatre’s next comedy nights and to book tickets for future events, visit their website at

Sarah Slack

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