• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Review: Alan Davies, Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow

Gillian Furmage's verdict: Three-and-a-half stars

As someone who only knew Alan Davies from the TV shows QI and Jonathan Creek, I was curious to see what his stand-up would be like.

His on-stage persona is markedly different from his on-screen comedy foil on QI and the introspective Creek. He led his set with energetic banter with the audience, and seemed incredibly relaxed and self-assured, making conversation with latecomers and dryly remarking on the McBusted gig happening at the venue next door.

Getting the audience to cheer according to what decade they were born in introduced the theme of the set: Davies took us through childhood, adolescence, parenthood and old age with poignancy, wit, and sometimes, vulgarity. I noticed that, at 23, I was well below the average age of the audience and Davies was certainly playing to a crowd who grew up in the 1970s.

Although there were many great observations (including likening the Clyde Auditorium to a 'model of Sydney opera house made by Blue Peter out of cans') there were some silences between jokes that in a comedy show seemed almost deafening.

Davies pointed this out, saying the audience were very 'foldy-army' and 'like performing to a carpet', which was a very brave move that unfortunately only heightened the slightly cold reception he was getting.

After the awkward end of the first half, Davies bounced back on stage clearly aiming to win his audience over. The second part of the performance had a much better flow and some excellent, vibrant anecdotes that were in turn hilarious, moving, painful and disgusting.

When Davies' material started venturing into the more crude areas - detailed accounts of his sex life, losing control of bodily functions, and the realities of puberty - that was when the audience really started to take to him, and there were even smatterings of applause after each profanity-laden rant.

Although Davies is a gifted comedian, there were some flaws in his performance that couldn't be ignored. A few of his Glasgow-related jokes fell flat, and one which referenced Rab C Nesbitt was audibly booed.

Davies seemed in his element when launching into tirades about parenthood or delving into his past, but there was something missing from the performance. His celebrity status jars somewhat with his stage routine and some moments felt awkward.

Despite the occasional moments of brilliance, this audience wasn't so crazy for Davies.

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

227229