Simon Amstell | Numb | Vicar Street
Review by: Dave O'Shaughnessy
British actor, writer and television presenter Simon Amstell is no stranger to the stage. Embarking on his second stand-up tour (the first of which, "Do Nothing", was also filmed in Vicar St. suggesting Amstell has an affinity for our shores), the former presenter of Never Mind The Buzzcocks brings his trademark irreverence and wit to a live audience, and brings all of his emotional baggage along with him.
Starting off by proclaiming his social awkwardness with and detest of those "exceptionally cool" people he encounters, and how he counters his own awkwardness by making others around him awkward, so he then can relax. From this point, Amstell dives into the dark depths of humour, offering tales of existential doubt that results in a retreat to Peru, how a change in diet could have provided him with a stable father figure growing up and how he can only commit to relationships (which always end, he is keen to inform you) where there is need.
Amstell's charm seems to lie in his ability to direct all his jokes simultaneously outward at the world and inward at himself. However, the highlights tend to occur when he ad-libs with audience and that sharp wit he is renowned for comes to the fore. Some of his more cutting statements might be painful to be on the receiving end of, but they make one hilarious scene to witness.
The overwhelming sensation one leaves with after Simon Amstell's performance is of sympathy, a sense that however broken and confused Amstell is, he just needs someone to tell him it will all be alright. As such, the show is not for everyone, with stereotypical gender roles unfortunately applying; women laughing along and wanting to take care of the performer, while men think he's just over thinking it and should just get on with life (both these opinions were overheard upon exiting the venue). His sharp wit and deep insight into life's larger issues however do make for a highly entertaining evening, full of hilarious self-deprecating anecdotes and moments of existentialism that charms from beginning to end.
Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Tuesday 8th May 2012 | Comedy
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