Chris McCausland: Speaky Blinder review – genial gags for midlife grumps everywhere

Leicester Square theatre, London
Engaging, blokey, old-school standup about domesticity, parenthood and the frustrations of modern life is mixed with material specific to the scouse joker’s life as a blind man

Chris McCausland riffs at the start of Speaky Blinder on the time that has elapsed since he wrote the show, and about how this and that hypothetical joke have not aged well. The period in question is a few pandemic-interrupted years but you could believe it was decades, such is the old-school (indulgent viewers might say timeless) character of his comedy. McCausland casts himself as a down-to-earth scouse dad unpersuaded by modernity. Hummus, the gym, new-fangled approaches to childbirth – all are cheerfully mocked by the 44-year-old. Because “it’s my job to moan, isn’t it?”, as he tells us in one revealing aside.

The brand of comedy is familiar and it is easy to anticipate McCausland’s withering reaction to whatever new nugget of modern life crosses his path. Non-violent communication, as practised by his therapist wife – it’s “the biggest load of bollocks,” natch. But the act is underpinned by a redeeming geniality, and a sense that the joke’s usually on him – see the fitness routine which finds McCausland weighing [...]

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