Jack Whitehall’s latest comedy roadshow, Jack Whitehall Gets Around, is currently segwaying itself around the UK and we managed to catch up with it for the Cardiff leg of the tour. With a central stage in the middle of the Motorpoint Arena like it’s the Royal Rumble or a World Championship boxing match, along with references to Wrestle Mania and Jack in a boxing robe, it’s a show that sees the comedian step up to his more recent heavyweight credentials.
Not all of the material is great, but on the whole it’s a very entertaining stand-up comedy show to watch with more than enough laughs to make it worth the entry fee. However, as well as the crazed, wild-eyed and slightly frothy mouthed ramblings, there are also a couple of nuggets of wisdom in and amongst the non-PC comedy style that Whitehall has.
The biggest and most significant of these is his show dictum, ‘get it wrong, got to be strong’, which essentially means that when you mess up, just force it through that you meant for it to happen – “walk into the wrong changing room? Throw your bag down, tuck your cock between your legs and carry on like it’s normal”, etc. In its extreme or if overused it probably won’t get you anywhere, but bringing it into play every now and again could be a bit inspired.
If that isn’t enough, then there’s the reverence that Jack has for the film, The Lion King. There’s references to it throughout the show, but it all culminates in Whitehall pulling off an on-stage costume change into a Mufasa lion outfit in the second half of the performance. It’s a pretty funny addition and as fellow Lion King fans we can appreciate the wisdom in his claim that anyone that doesn’t accept the brilliance of the film is a nonse. Only Jack’s spelling of nonse sounds more like the Cockney rhyming slang equivalent of James Blunt.
The show starts out with a video featuring a father and son dialogue intro on the massive screens above the ring-like stage between Jack and his dad, Michael Whitehall. With everything from The Undertaker, Miley Cyrus and Jack’s “troubled” youth in Barnes on the topic list, it made for a funny way to start the show segueing almost seemlessly into Jack’s entrance on a Segway, setting the tone at pretty daft right from the beginning.
What follows is a stream of stories that sort of loosely revolve around the train of thought of how Jack copes with the upper-middle class difficulties that have been a burden to him throughout his life and how we can all learn a little from them. Whether it’s public school bullying or his girlfriend’s annoying friend Kate, he takes it all on the chin only to spit it back out in the form of comedy bile.
On the negative side there’s a bit too much in the way of old-school material of the Roy Chubby Brown mentality in and amongst everything, which can be a bit lame at times. The show also tales off slightly towards the end as Whitehall got slightly unravelled, forgetting some of his material and bumbling through other sections a bit too half arsed.
However, the Jack Whitehall Gets Around stand-up tour just about makes things stick, giving the audience a whole lot of laughs, as well as a few tongue-in-cheek life lessons to weave into their arsenal. If Jack took things a bit more seriously then some of the show’s detractions wouldn’t be a problem, but then if Jack took things seriously we wouldn’t have the majority of the best laughs either, which is why he’s “sh***ing funny”. The tour itself is coming to an end at the moment, but it’s bound to be getting a DVD release in the not so distant future if you missed out.
Jack Whitehall Gets Around review: 3.8/5