Live Review: Josh Widdecombe - 'What Do I Do Now?' tour
Josh Widdicombe - we mostly know him from tv panel shows, the last leg and for that rather distinctive tone to his voice. So we weren't sure what to expect when we went to watch him perform live, in front of an audience of a thousand or so people who were doing their best to give the impression that they were going to be a tough crowd, after not giving to much to a very amusing warm-up act by Suzi Ruffell.
You could sense there was a tiny bit of fear and apprehension as Josh first took to the stage, no doubt wondering if his first lines were going to be met with by the stonewall of silence. Fortunately, the Suzi had defrosted the audience and the laughs were generous. As Josh settled in, he got to know (code for "pick-on") members of the front row, including the couple who had an audacious first-date to Calais on a booze-cruise, and the name-dropping (Michael Phelps) swimming coach who also dropped his unamused partner in it when he announced her as swimming for Britain - only for it to transpire that was back at junior level. Josh also called out a 15-year old in the audience who was to feature more in the second half of the show.
After the interval, Josh provided highly entertaining musings about modern life, such as the ridiculousness of getting reliant on new technology, including contactless payment and having to switch back to chip & pin when (heaven-forbid) it's not available. Modern life slowly transitioned to nostalgia towards the twilight of the show, and Josh compared his teenage years with our 15-year old audience member, by fondly reminding us of Filofaxes and cabin beds - you know, those beds with a top bunk and desk below - like his childhood was intensive training for office-job supremacy. Fortunately for us, he forwent the boardroom, and opted for treading the boards instead.
Our verdict: instinctively, distinctively funny.
Josh continues his tour around the UK, click here for tickets and venue details.