Review: Joe Lycett, I'm About To Lose Control And Joe Lycett, Grand Opera House, York, May 13

JOE LYCETT had the sold-out Grand Opera House audience in the palm of his hands on Sunday. Almost literally.

The 29-year-old Brummie comedian came on stage with customary high kicks and radiating an infectious silliness before exhorting the audience to produce the shortest “hooray” noise they could.

The room duly obliged. He demanded they go shorter and shorter, using his hands to conduct, whereupon the crowd uttered their most truncated warble yet.

“What happens if I do this?” Lycett asked, nudging his palm downwards. “Ooooooooh,” came the response. This daft, ad-libbed introduction set the tone for 60-plus ebullient minutes during which Lycett discussed his travails with Dry January (“I’ve never noticed how boring my friends are”); internet trolling (attempting to convince the EDL to change their name to ISIS soundalikes) and pranks (a wonderful set-closing tale of his pseudonym, Rhubarb Bikini – "it’s pronounced ‘Ryan’. It’s Irish").

The audience followed him every step of the way as he seamlessly segued from tale to interlude and back again. Meanwhile, Lycett was more than willing to engage them throughout, chatting with punters and reading their tweets aloud.

Lycett identifies as pansexual (nothing to do with kitchens, he made clear) and, having an affinity with the LGBTQ+ community, engaged in a genuine discussion about gender that was as thoughtful as it was entertaining.

And as if to emphasise how smooth and cohesive the set was, Lycett closed the section by abruptly saying, “I’d like to talk about IKEA now.”

Neither Lycett nor audience lost momentum and, by the end, it was almost a relief to be able to breathe again.

Joe Richardson

Joe Lycett plays further Yorkshire gigs at Hull City Hall on September 5, Sheffield City Hall on October 23 and Leeds Town Hall on October 30. Tickets are on sale at