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Reviews / Review: making magic out of the mundane

Jon Richardson on stage in Lerwick on Saturday. Photo: Davie Gardner

A COMEDY gig which ends on the dos and don’ts of stacking a dishwasher doesn’t sound like the most exciting Saturday night out – but then again, Jon Richardson isn’t your average comedian.

The acclaimed Englishman, perhaps best known for his captain role on Channel 4 quiz show 8 Out of 10 Cats, made magic out of the mundane at a packed Clickimin Leisure Centre as he brought his Old Man tour north to Lerwick.

The show’s name was supposed to reflect that he had recently become a dad, but the evening instead touched more on his public persona of a man stuck in the wrong era, an ultimate worrier who prefers routine over revelry.

That was highlighted succinctly in the first few moments as he took off an antiquated looking cardigan, carefully placing it on a travel-sized hangar – don’t want the collar getting “warped” – before revealing a second cardigan underneath.

Richardson quickly pointed to an interview he did with Radio Shetland where he was asked if he had done any research on the isles – and he poked fun at one recent news story being centred on 71 year old Hillswick blacksmith Bruce Wilcock cutting peats.

The audience enjoyed a show featuring a constant stream of big-hitting jokes from the quick-thinking comic, whose wordy intellect even managed to make the moments of toilet humour classy.

A section where Richardson spoke about a tweet he received from an enthusiastic Shetlander prior to the show was particularly fruitful, with the comedian trawling through the audience-goer’s timeline to poke fun at other tweets she had previously sent.

The one he settled on, which had been posted in January, asked why her cat was covered in salt – provoking laughs all round.

It was a routine he picked up after the interval too, with Richardson reading out tweets he had been sent by gig-goers during the break.

His show, meanwhile, was relatable and endearing – there was talk of dancing at weddings, overnight stays in hotels and the perils of pregnancy, including applying oil to his wife’s nether regions…as you do.

Richardson concluded with talk of the battle he has with his wife in his kitchen, particularly when it comes to how to load up the dishwasher in the most efficient way.

Couples in the audience were nudging each other as they cast their minds back to their own squabbles when he spoke up against putting a bread knife in the cutlery box, and the dangers of leaving a bowl upturned before turning the dishwasher on.

Not only did the crowd come home with useful tips on how to keep their kitchen clean and tidy – but they left with the feeling that they’d just seen one of the best comedy shows to visit Shetland in years.