Greg Davies is a big man, as he was happy to admit to a packed Chorley Little Theatre when his The Back Of My Mum’s Head show rolled into town.
Describing his body shape as resembling that carved by a four-year-old from a big piece of ham, he confided to the audience that the waistband in his underpants had snapped before he came on stage and that, whilst we might not witness the event, his underpants might fall down inside his jeans at some point in the evening.
Being so large had a number of other drawbacks, including the fact that he’d destroyed two toilets at home in one day.
Having shared his wardrobe malfunction secret, and engagingly got the audience on his side, this former teacher (perhaps best known for playing the teacher Mr Gilbert in The Inbetweeners) revealed his agenda for the evening, helpfully set out on a flip chart.
The show was a well paced mix of story telling and audience interaction with the audience laughing from start to finish.
Davies’ observational comedy saw him take random incidents in his life and weave a narrative from them, such as the east London taxi driver who called Davies ‘Big Bird’ on picking up his fare and, having riled his passenger from the off, then got into an argument with him about what the ingredients of a pie are. ‘It’s pie, isn’t it?’
Davies’ top five involuntary noises, with the Pick of the Pops theme tune helpfully hummed by the audience, included a reference to a friend caught spying on his sunbathing neighbour by his monster of a wife.
Davies disguised ‘Darren’s’ real identity to spare his embarrassment only to accidentally blurt out his real name, which is now known only to Davies and 250 theatregoers and staff. Apart from the laugh it got, the mistake was ironic since Davies’ theme was how adults need to censor what they’re thinking in a way that children don’t.
Davies’ parents feature in much of his material, with his mother’s concern about Davies being bitten by a fish whilst he was up a mountain so baffling to him he produced a script so the audience could help him act out the telephone conversation he had with her.
His mother’s ‘it’s not normal’ refrain was reflected back by Davies to highlight how everyone says or thinks things that perhaps they shouldn’t.
The show concluded with the audience joining Davies in singing a song about a bonsai tree called ‘I wish I was a bonsai tree’.
Music and comedy does not always work, but Davies concluded a very funny set by creating the sense of a camp fire singalong, and making the audience feel they had been part of something special.
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