Jack Whitehall – Live Review – Hull Bonus Arena
Jack Whitehall: ‘Stood Up’ – Live Review
Hull Bonus Arena, December 2019
by Kirsty Reid
With two sell-out arena tours under his belt, Jack Whitehall has a huge fanbase. And with many dates for his current show, ‘Stood Up’, already sold out, I feared I’d missed my chance of seeing the self-proclaimed ‘ponce’ perform.
Imagine my delight, then, when I discovered the comedian had not only added extra shows to his tour, but that one of those shows was taking place at a city near me.
Like many comedians before him, Whitehall began his career at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2007, where he won both The Charlie Hartill Special Reserve Competition and The Amused Moose Laugh Off. Since then, he’s increasingly appeared on stage as well as on TV.
I’ve been a fan of the comedian’s since I clocked him on Channel 4’s Fresh Meat back in 2011 where he played JP, a public school boy at university. The award-winning actor and presenter has also appeared on A League of Their Own, Bad Education and, more recently, Travels with my Father.
Despite reading a few scathing reviews about Whitehall’s latest tour, I’m not discouraged as I head down to Hull’s Bonus Area with my dad.
Opening the show, support act Lloyd Griffith gets the crowd warmed up nicely. The funnyman shares a few punchy gags, before revealing a jaw-dropping voice and announcing he’s a choirboy as well as a comedian – an unusual combination, but Griffith is certainly talented in both areas.
Fusing observational comedy and storytelling, the posh man-child pokes fun at his privileged lifestyle and reveals that his agent has asked him to stop talking about Waitrose in a bid to appear more ‘relatable’. He insists he’s a man of the people, though, going on to say he shops at The Lie-dal (Lidl) and Coop (Co-op).
After making digs at half-marathon runners – commenting that they’re only doing ‘half a job’ – he also pokes fun at vegans. ‘There are 12 different types of substitute milk,’ he says, ‘which I would argue is 11 too many’.
Other subject matter includes ‘active diarrhoea’, photos of his inflamed anus, environmentalism, Brexit and the stupidity of signs in America.
The comedian ends the show just as flamboyantly as it began. After sharing a sob story of how, as a child, he played the Emu in his school Nativity, Whitehall finds himself the star of his very own Nativity. Dressed as an emu, the affable funnyman is suspended above the stage in a harness as he attempts to ‘fly’ ending the show on a high note – literally.