thu 09/02/2023

Simon Brodkin, The Stables, Milton Keynes review - comics casts off his Lee Nelson character | reviews, news & interviews

Simon Brodkin, The Stables, Milton Keynes review - comics casts off his Lee Nelson character

Simon Brodkin, The Stables, Milton Keynes review - comics casts off his Lee Nelson character

His debut first person show

Simon Brodkin is touring his first stand-up show where he is not in character

Simon Brodkin is best known for his cheeky Cockney wideboy character Lee Nelson, and for pranking the famous – notably handing Theresa May her P45 at the Conservative Party conference in 2017, throwing Nazi-themed balls at Donald Trump when he visited his Scottish golf course in 2016, and, in 2015, storming Kanye West's Glastonbury set and showering then Fifa president Sepp Blatter with banknotes.

But now in 100% Simon Brodkin, he is touring as himself for the first time.

He starts with some gently mocking interaction with the front row, and then Brodkin tells us about his home life as the father of two young children, where he plays up the “useless dad” stereotype and how he can't cope when his wife is away. Perhaps too much, as this doesn't sound authentic, even if the jokes are well worked.

Little of what Brodkin says, perhaps surprisingly for the first “and this is me” show, reveals much about the comic, despite referencing his middle-class upbringing in Hampstead Garden Suburb, where passing a black person in the street was noteworthy, his former life as a doctor, and his relationship with his wife. There's no ripping each other's clothes off now that they've been married a while, he says. “We take our own clothes off. And fold them.”

There's an extended riff, too, about his bloke mates, and how they're as emotionally unforthcoming as he is, and this section provides a fantastic callback in the finale.

But when he talks about being Jewish, the rise of anti-Semitism and explaining that hatred to his children, his emotional engagement noticeably kicks in. He recounts how the Ku Klux Klan started trolling him after the Trump incident at Turnberry golf course in Ayrshire, and how he had a close shave with Trump's security detail when he tried to offer him the swastika-printed golf balls. (The payoff, about how the local police dealt with the incident, is a doozy.)

In a laidback show that stands in stark contrast to his energetic Lee Nelson performances, Brodkin delivers a finely wrought set but it feels – despite some quality gags – as though he is still searching for his own voice.

When he talks about being Jewish his emotional engagement noticeably kicks in


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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