Liam Williams’ Stand Up Show

PHOEBE LUCKHURST: There is little to criticise: the content was varied, resisted cliché and was broadly very well-delivered.

ADC Theatre, 18th January, 11.00. £5-6.


I was perturbed, admittedly, by the layer of faux-grass blanketing the ADC stage. As perturbed as I had been by the show’s publicity icon (A three-headed dragon lizard!’ roared Dannish Babar animatedly, eyes goggling at the impossibility that graphic design had managed to enact). But these ultimately inconsequential incongruities are the scraping of the proverbial barrel: this was a polished and engaging evening of stand-up.

Phil Wang, the ‘illegitimate love son’ (‘Oh. Wait. Love child. Love son isn’t a word is it?’) of Michael McIntyre, was a charming compere with some well-conceived and executed material. His suggestions for novel pornography genres (‘efficient porn’; a ‘satirical porn’ sketch featuring Big Dave and Cleggover in student spit roast scandal) were particularly well-received and Phil was natural, ostensibly at ease with the late-show crowd.

Dannish Babar was more awkward, a slight clumsiness sometimes obscuring his material. Often, I was more conscious of his appearance than his content. He engaged with the audience to varying degrees of success: he dubbed one man with a particularly booming chuckle, ‘Count Dracula’, which worked; other attempts to construct a rapport, however, were less successful. Nevertheless, the transitions between topics were very smooth, and there was a lot of strong material: his declared proclivities in the UL (colouring in the Os in the books in the Rare Books room; sniffing the seats of the Emeritus professors) were particularly amusing and very well-constructed.

The headliner, Liam Williams, was simply brilliant. His reflections on the finality of graduation were thoughtful and his set the most coherent of all. Perhaps my judgement clouds at this point, being a finalist moving uncomfortably towards graduation and terrified of this ultimate enactment…however, throughout this engaging evening, the audience as a whole appeared most enamoured with Williams. Daniel Radcliffe as a ‘Scouse pimp’ exacted hysterics in parts of the audience; as he wandered across the stage, tangling his legs in the microphone wire, ruffling his hair, and obviously having a lot of fun.

There is little to criticise: the content was varied, resisted cliché and was broadly very well-delivered. I doubt I have ever seen more complete performances by other comedians in Cambridge. Next time any of the three heads of this dragon-lizard perform in Cambridge, make sure you have booked a seat in front of the faux-grass.

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