As a child, a reviewer said that Grimsby-born comedian Lloyd Griffith would some day have a musical written about him. Well, by the end of his latest show at City Varieties in Leeds, that would prove to be a sentiment which everyone here would wholeheartedly agree with.
Opening up with a short twenty-minutes “being the warm-up for his warm-up”, the tone for the evening was set as the self-critical Griffith set about getting to know the crowd. As the conversations ranged from farcical to just downright bizarre, there were clearly more than a few friends of Lloyd’s dotted around the venue making this feel more like a night down the pub.
Ahead of introducing his support, the brilliant Matt Bragg, Griffith joking explained how this would probably be the last time he’d be using Matt as, having recently supported Ricky Gervais, his warm-up was now considerably more expensive than he used to be.
As for the Nottingham-based comedian, before us stands a man who has many frustrations with daily life. From the suffering of his partner taking him shopping for £200 saucepans to discovering he would be working for free in a well-known charity shop, Bragg’s outlook is part despair, part frustration and wonderfully delivered.
I defy anybody to come to a Lloyd Griffith show and not come away having had an absolute riot of a night. Billed as the “One Tonne of Fun” tour, he introduces himself on to the stage as the “short, fat idiot” and spends over an hour delivering an absolute ‘tonne of fun’.
Having had to rewrite a part of the show due to a relationship breakup, Griffith admits early on that even as a child his ambition in life was just to make people laugh. He does that with material that is light-hearted, extremely funny, but all very relatable. His hour on stage is full of stories of bumbling through the past couple of years ultimately taking up work as a Barbershop Quartet singer just to fulfil his longstanding itch to perform.
For those who know Griffith know that he also has a love of football and is an accomplished choirboy. The comedian reveals how those two passions collided resulting in him singing at his beloved Grimsby Town much to the amusement of friends and fans he shares the terraces. It also kickstarts a campaign to get Griffith to sing the National Anthem at Wembley Stadium.
The laugh-a-minute show ends with a rousing finale which sees Griffith showcase his formidable vocal talents. Much like the previous hour, the climax of the show brings together light-hearted comedy and Lloyd’s incredible voice for a routine that is as breathtaking as it is bonkers.
As for “Lloyd Griffith – The Musical” – it’s not as far-fetched an idea as it sounds. You can find all the remaining tour dates and tickets here.