Phill Jupitus – Live Review – Kings Hall, Ilkley
By Laura Whiteley, November 2017
Dynamic, unpredictable and infectious, Phill Jupitus begins tonight’s ‘Juplicity’ stand-up gig by, conversely, reading poetry from the steps of the stage.
The audience is engrossed inside this cosy setting. The room seems to become smaller as Jupitus sits on the same level as us. All the formalities and typical theatre etiquette are forgotten, as the barrier between performer and audience is lifted away with ease, right from the start.
Even the interval is full of surprises as Jupitus, again, breaks the rules of theatre and mingles with the audience, talks to people and signs things. This leads to some impromptu audience participation that sets us all into suitable hysteria before the start of the second half.
“Energetic and exciting”
Marvellous music then takes over the show as the comedian performes his own comical songs with lyrics that have the audience in stitches. I’m surprised by one song as it mocks one of my favourite bands… but even then, I can’t stop some deliciously guilty laughter seeping out. Now, here is a true comedian.
Autobiographical stories successfully steal the rest of the performance as Jupitus playfully digresses from one topic to another yet swiftly returns to the main story. He performs each story as if it is a one-man play: animated, energetic and exciting in every way.
At some points, laughter in the audience quickly reaches the point past politeness as snorts and giggles multiply to the verge of tears. Honesty and realism are undeniable ingredients in this show as his family and friends become central characters. Jupitus seems to have an amazing ability to make jokes that hit below the belt yet he remains likeable and unpredictable.
As the show progressed, he admitted to falling off-script and developing new ideas that very night. Improvisation at its best kept sneaking in unexpectedly and was always met by uncontrollable laughter. Witty parodies that were playful and refreshing.
Atmosphere was warm while the entertainer holds the reins; carefully controlling the ups and downs of this rollercoaster performance. There are moments of complete silence where the audience are left in suspense and Jupitus takes off his glasses and simply holds on to the moment for as long as possible.
Often, he just moves away from his microphone completely and speaks directly to us. At times he bursts into childish giggles himself, proving himself only human, which only increases the roars of laughter from the audience.
Phill Jupitus stands out amongst other comedians in his unique approach to his own work and the way he presents it. Tonight is a raw and risky performance; and an undeniably infectious treat that left me hungry for more.