Lee Nelson – Live Review – Ilkley King’s Hall
By Laura Whiteley, February 2019
After seeing Lee Nelson on Live at the Apollo on TV, I was expecting a character in cap and tracksuit to step out at Ilkley King’s Hall – but Nelson comes on to the stage in a suit. It’s only when I look closer I see the suit still has the security tag on – a visual joke the comedian doesn’t even need to mention. Starting the show late, he introduces himself and has the audience laughing from the very start.
His stories range from relationships, parenthood and family life to recent political and social issues – Nelson’s found a way to laugh at it all. With no props he holds the attention of the audience for the length of the whole show.
Audience involvement is key from the beginning. He starts off by working out who is the youngest and oldest in the crowd. After he finds a 14-year-old and an 89-year-old he mentions them numerous times throughout the show. Indeed, from age and nationality to career choices, Nelson asks and the audience duly responds. Cleverly, Lee manages to negotiate this interactive show – even when the audience members gave a little back. He’s a comedian who thinks on the spot and manages to keep the laughter flowing.
For sure, though, if you don’t like being a potential target for the on-stage comedian, this show is not for you. This is demonstrated when one audience member is singled out on her journey to the loo and isn’t happy to find she’s still the butt of the joke on her return. She left at the interval.
I came in expecting a blue set, but his language was relatively tame, although some of the topics he touches upon are risqué. Guilty laughs fill the auditorium as the audience appreciates his bravery and comedic ability when discussing taboo subjects in a funny way.
At the end of the show Nelson invites the 14-year-old boy and the 89-year-old man on stage for a photo. The boy, who is blind, is thrilled. It’s a surprisingly touching finale to a cheeky and funny show.