Review: Lee Mack- Going Out

It takes the Maypole’s Colin to show LOTTIE UNWIN the merits of Lee Mack.

Comedy Corn Exchange Lee Mack Maypole

 Thursday 18th February, 8.00 at The Corn Exchange.  £18.50

Expectation is an interesting thing. While there is so much wisdom in anticipating the worst so you are never disappointed there is a tobacco industry that thrives on our failure to take advice seriously. I had got myself very excited about seeing Lee Mack and his 'sell out' statistics. Though he was better than any student comedy in Cambridge (as he should be), I was left a bit underwhelmed.

 The warm up act didn’t do his job, essentially failing to make me laugh.  I was the prime candidate for the joke about his time living in Brixton (Sarf Landan and for me, home sweet home) but I was left ambivalent.  His words were funny, but some how he was not.  An anecdote about a doctor confusing a Pakistani, an English and a Welsh baby where the English father takes the Pakistani baby, so not to risk finding himself with the Welsh the punch line just not worth it, ten minutes down the line.  Colin, the barman at the Maypole, just re-told it to the Tab team at a meeting and it made me laugh then. While Colin was measuring out my wine and we chatted I was told today by the Tab Editor to stop flirting with him.  He quipped back, ‘when you have been married this long, it’s only window shopping’, proof that he is a very talented and funny man.  However, I remain concerned that his rendition of the Welsh joke had more impact than a nation touring professional.

Lee Mack’s entrance was fantastic, staging the opening of a magic trick and packing an audience member in a box only to wheel him off stage.  He prepared us that while “most comics talk about the supermarket” he does “all of that online.  Then, they talk about their sex lives, that’s also all online”.  I didn’t find anything else side splitting from my seat in the very back row but Colin, from the front row, entirely disagrees with me.  In fact, he reckons Lee Mack was as good as both Lee Evans and Michael McIntyre live, I thought he felt hysterical from a long tour.  Essentially, for me it was not the wit of Bill Bailey or Alex Horne who I would give an arm and a leg to see again, but the audience’s reaction was raucous.

Mack’s reliance on the audience input made a show that felt incredibly unique the evening.  Asking us whether he was the only one who had brought corn to exchange was definitely brilliant and the sketch where he turned the sound of a steward walking along the balcony into the Green Giant seeking revenge fantastic.  Though when he returned after his ‘encore’ most of those around me had put on their coats, it was worth being coerced back into our seats and pretending we had, indeed, called him back.  He was absolutely hilarious explaining he had walked off stage where there was no exit, depicting his few seconds in the company of the fire extinguishers as he pulled down the flat to show us.

I would like to dedicate this review and my evening to Colin, who not only pours a perfect pint but also has an enlightening view on, in fact, all things.  He has made me see that Lee Mack was a great night out, and I shouldn’t let my awful seat or dubious sense of humour blind me from such a truth.  The fact he has sold out everywhere is a strong pointer Mack is doing a lot right.