I went with a friend to see the comedian Stewart Lee the other night at Leicester Square Theatre. This was perhaps the fourth time we’d been to see him at that venue, and was the best experience yet.
He doesn’t do jokes as such; he sets up a series of scenarios upon which to rant and rave against modern life. It’s almost performance art rather than comedy, but it leaves you in stitches. It’s fast, it’s clever and he takes aim at the most deserving targets, from the Daily Mail and Brexiteers to Donald Trump and obsession with social media.
I was a victim of unintended audience participation on two occasions. The first was when I couldn’t hold on to a bladder full of beer and had to dash to the loo (I was in the second row and couldn’t sneak out). He pointed me out and then accused me of taking people with me when someone followed me out. The second time was when I caught his eye when he recited part of the oath of the Night’s Watch from Game of Thrones – this time he had a dig at me watching the show and looking like I was over 40!
All good fun stuff, in which I didn’t mind taking bit of comedy flak.
I saw the man himself at the merch window after. I walked over and shook hands and told him how brilliant I thought the whole thing had been. Surprisingly, he recognised me and offered me a free poster as a ‘thanks for taking part’, which he then signed.
I don’t really have heroes, and I don’t gush at celebrity, but I have to admit to being chuffed when meeting a real artist for a very brief chat after seeing him perform at the height of his powers.