15-17 April 2014
Reviewed by Sue Trish
The Lowry Theatre in Salford Quays, Manchester is a spectacular venue and it is a delight to attend any show here. Staff were extremely helpful and super friendly and there are plenty of bars and stands to purchase refreshments from so the queues were handled with ease.
I had only seen Rich Hall a few times on TV and I knew he was a funny man but was not prepared for just how hysterical the night would be. I simply want to write “comedy genius with a cracking band” a million times!
Having never been to a “hoedown” before, we took to our seats and tried to fathom out how the night would go just by looking at the array of musical instruments that were set out on the stage. Musical comedy is not really my cup of tea and I was slightly relieved when he announced the first half of the show would be him doing what we all know and love – stand up.
Rich Hall’s well known grouchy, poker-faced style was a hit from the off. Although he gives a sense of having no strict set list in mind, he didn’t let the audience down with his quick-fire banter and rapid wit.
During the first half Hall celebrated his love for British life and our comical pessimistic ways, causing belly laughs from the off. His comedy, covering topics as varied as Primark, American and UK Politics, horse meat scandals and the USA gun laws, hits the mark every time. There is also brilliant banter to and from the front few rows of the stalls, picking up interesting facts from audience members and weaving them into uniquely improvised songs about print engineers and truck drivers. He even attempted to fix up his own happy ending for the show by matchmaking for a couple, finally producing an engagement ring… sadly, to no avail.
Needless to say it is the genuine company he offers that is fun, rather than a planned delivery of a string of jokes or rehearsed comedy sketches.
The semi scripted songs are terrific, curtly growling out lyrics about “Little Tommy” stuck down a well and the hysterical “Wrangler jeans”; a hilarious jibe at American women squeezing themselves into jeans five sizes too small “Girl that ain’t no muffin top – that there’s a whole bakery!” The hoedown band also deserve a mention, for both their fantastic musical ability and their timely contributions to some of the expertly performed ballads.
Hall is a brilliant comedian and a surprisingly great musician who had us laughing from start to finish. His show is highly recommended and I would suggest you also buy a CD at the end – signed by the funny man himself!
Tickets cost £19 (includes £2 booking fee).
For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0843 208 6000.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | Box Office 0843 208 6000