Jeremy Hardy – Live Review – Wakefield Theatre Royal
By Victoria Holdsworth, June 2018
I am one of the biggest I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue fans on the planet, and have been a big fan of Mr. Jeremy Hardy since his early days, when appearing alongside Ben Elton.
Whilst I have not always agreed with his far left political persuasions, I have always found his humour around it amusing, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect from tonight. However, the crowd in the theatre was plentiful, even though the demographic of his audience tonight was a lot older than I’d imagined it to be.
Not one for any fuss, Hardy ambles out to the centre of the stage and has a bit of banter with the crowd. You can see his eyes scanning the audience, almost gauging which lines he will be allowed to cross.
“Tough talking comedy”
There is some initial material about approaching the end of his life, now he is 57 years of age. He eases his crowd in with a few mundane observations about how much he hates Easter, and rants about how it should be chocolate death day, before losing his train of thought completely – then likens Wakefield to Waco.
It is not long before all the getting-people-on-side jokes finish and Hardy’s unabashed political ideologies are out of the bag. He lashes into the Tories with some tough talking comedy, and his love for Jeremy Corbyn is blatantly obvious. Indeed, Mr Corbyn features in quite a lot of Jeremy’s comedy, and he makes no bones about how chummy he is with him. Most of the audience seem to enjoy this fact, and there’s no doubt he’s preaching to the already converted.
The middles classes also bear the wrath of his clever send-ups – especially gym dwellers. There was a terrific anecdote about him seemingly being groomed by a young fitness instructor in the men’s changing rooms, who constantly called him ‘Buddy’. But I was left a little disappointed that more of his observational stuff lacked the sharpness we’d come to expect from him on the likes of I’m Sorry.
There were some touching moments, and he talks about his parents, who have both sadly passed away, and he reminisces about life lessons and values instilled into him, from them. In fact, when he’s away from the political side of things his comedy is much more appealing and feels a lot less like being sat at a Labour Party rally.
He does state that we are all basically socialists, and how we take from institutes that are there for the greater good of society, and in his cynical way explains that whilst this is all well and good, he can see the welfare state turning into some sort of sponsorship affair, before remarking that he is going to cure cancer with a marathon run.
Whilst Hardy delivers intelligent comedy with an obvious agenda, it’s not one I’ll be signing up to just yet.