Tim Key invites us to share an evening with him in his lockdown living room. We’re taken back to life under lockdown one, two and three – remember all that? Tim does, and he can’t forgive the pandemic for sabotaging his career just as he was on the cusp of the big time, with Pointless Celebrities sniffing about and a bit-part in ITV’s Vera on the cards before it was cruelly snatched away as his industry ground to a halt. His front door, his fridge, his giant magnet for picking up teaspoons and his life-size teddybear-wife – they all make an appearance in this exploration of isolation and Beavertown Neck Oil.
Tim Key is a man of many talents. A poet, a polyglot and a painter of the human condition. He also produced his Perrier Award from his fridge at one point, which I feel shows real commitment to a bit. The talent he has for making comedy seem effortless, though, really is remarkable. His show is meticulous – the attention to detail in everything from the accompanying music to the description of the interior of his hall (an exciting new location to sit around week eight of lockdown one) is so precise and well thought-through and yet he presents it as though he’s just riffing in his government-issued pyjamas.
What a gift the pandemic is for comedians – the insane experience we all shared and can therefore relate to, even without Perrier-Awards. Tim’s poetry punctuates throughout, exploring the depths of the lockdown psyche and charting the (mainly pub-related) milestones we lurched between during that time. Garden centres, bubbles, Amazon, alcohol. It didn’t feel as though we would ever look back and laugh, but here we are. I personally spent the evening mostly crying with laughter and couldn’t recommend it highly enough. The Times called this show ‘the greatest stand-up response to lockdown so far’ and as much as I hate to agree with the Times, they’re absolutely right. Special shout-out to Amy Gledhill, the brilliant support act who has her own show coming to the Leadmill later this spring.
You can find dates and tickets here to see this hilarious show.