This is comedian Rob Beckett’s debut UK stand-up tour, which he’s already seen extended due to its popularity. The demand for tickets isn’t much of a surprise. Due to his stints on ‘Live at the Apollo’, ‘Mock the Week’, ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here Now!’ and ‘8 Out of 10 Cats’ he’s already a minor household name.
Despite any self-professed short-comings in the general knowledge department, Beckett is more than capable of conjuring up a few rational observations about his world. Group dynamics, class divides and primal communication on a lad’s night out all fall under his scrutiny.
Right from the start he’s bantering with the crowd, rightly realising there’s solid gold entertainment to be found out in the gloom. Just a quick scan of the audience reveals a sales team from ‘The Grocer’ out on the lash, a couple who recently met online and a girl scraping tonight’s age retraction. The latter accompanied by a mother, anxious not to hear the room peppered with expletives. Sure, Beckett’s not averse to a few swears, but there’s a distinct lack of crudity in his act. That sort of behaviour wouldn’t sit well anyway because, in case you hadn’t figured already, Rob Beckett is a nice guy.
Over the 90 minutes we get to know Beckett better. He possesses an almost child-like view of the world, he hails from Lewisham (It’s a bit stabby!) and he can operate a wheelchair to a near professional standard. These things can… and do… get him into trouble, all of the anecdotes getting relayed in his gleeful, non-judgmental style.
Beckett’s home life also gets some close scrutiny He’s got a lot of love for his parents, as any good South London lad should. There’s his mum – Big Sooz, she’s not a loan shark, but she does write everything down in a little book… She’s got some pretty wild penile decapitation theories, and is a member of a book club that can only manage Martina Cole novels. Also dragging Beckett and his siblings up was Super Dave, the ironically named family patriarch. Unlike his mum, his Dad can usually remember Rob’s name and can expertly plot a route to any of his son’s gigs. Not that he remotely cares as to why his offspring is travelling there.
There’s plenty outside the family home bewildering Beckett. Especially his adjustment to his beloved girlfriend and her posh mates being from a different place on the social spectrum. He maintains comedy is perhaps the only thing he’s really good at. He clearly loves life, and loves telling people about his views on it. What makes his life even better is people want to hear his devastatingly honest, funny and well observed anecdotes.
Beckett clearly finds performing easy, especially if there seems to be something interesting happening in the audience. There’s not much he can’t turn around for everyone’s entertainment, even enthusiastically encouraging audience members to go to the toilet… if they really need to.
The show ends, and Beckett’s grin retreats backstage. But instead of grabbing his cheque and high-tailing it back up the A23 (then onto the M25, according to his Dad) in his Micra, he’s magically reappeared at the top of the Komedia’s stairs, personally thanking every departing audience member for their support. As I said, he’s a really nice guy.