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Lee Mack, at Symphony Hall

BEWARE of taking your parents along to see Lee Mack’s new stand-up tour!

BEWARE of taking your parents along to see Lee Mack’s new stand-up tour!

My mum, gripped by vertigo, was less than pleased I’d booked tickets for the top row and dared not venture more than 6ft near the edge.

While my dad, half deaf, spent the performance with a hand cupped up to his ear - a sort of human Jodrell Bank.

For them it was a case of see no jokes, hear no jokes - but for me, and the 2,000 other members of the audience, this was a cracking show.

There’s something infectious about the star - he’s one part 70s stand-up, another cheeky schoolboy.

While Mack’s scripted material is clever, it’s when the funnyman goes off piste that the crowd really erupts.

Some arena tours are the same night in night out, with only a clumsy reference to the local shopping centre to tell them apart.

Mack, by contrast, just loves going on detours - his quick-fire exchange with the crowd is brilliant.

“That’s the end of audience participation,” he says, a few minutes into the show, though nothing could be further from the truth.

If someone called out, the funnyman threw it back or launched into a wholly improvised routine. With many of the gags, the audience became the punchline.

To begin with it seemed like Mack was lucky with his victims, but as he hits the mark time after time, it seems there’s no-one he couldn’t make hilarious.

And it’s a testimony to Mack that material that might seem corny or crass in the hands of others, leaves the crowd roaring for more.

 

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