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Review: Michael McIntyre, Work In Progress Tour, Grand Opera House, York
HE DIDN'T tell a single gag for over an hour and a half but still had a packed Grand Opera House holding their sides trying to keep the laughter in.
Michael McIntyre's form of anecdotal and observational comedy has long since propelled him to the forefront of British entertainment. He is probably only rivalled by Bolton's Peter Kay in this brand of funniness and, judging by this latest material – his three dates in York are part of a tour to try out new stuff before his third and biggest UK arena tour – he is still on top of his game.
So much of it is about the delivery, the cheeriness. Try regurgitating his material to friends and somehow it isn't half as funny.
It's all so seamless too. Right at the start, a member of the theatre staff audibly told someone in the audience they couldn't take photos. It was as if it had been staged, as McIntyre launched into an hilarious ramble on photos, catwalking, trying on trousers, to having a paparazzo photograph him “giving the finger” (when actually he was gormlessly pushing his glasses back up his nose).
McIntyre apparently tore a calf muscle on stage last Wednesday, ironically while taking the mickey out of England's footballers chasing the ball like chumps in their Euros 2012 defeat to Italy. His take of Italian Andrea Pirlo's mocking midfield wizardry was not only hysterical but also showed a good degree of football knowledge - and kept his routine, so fluid and fluent, bang up to date.
It also provided another example of how his use of comic accents and voices, and his physical comedy, so understated and perhaps under-rated, was a key component of a brilliant act.
His injury also gave rise to an amusing anecdote about visiting a physio who specialised in shoulders and knees (but not toes, knees and toes).
And it led effortlessly into an account of a trip to the dentist which went horribly and hilariously wrong.
He might have been suffering a cough all night but it was his audience who left with chest pains from laughing so much.
Michael McIntyre plays sold-out shows at Grand Opera House, York, tonight and tomorrow at 8pm.