John Bishop: Elvis Has Left The Building, Hammersmith Apollo, London
Monday 10 May 2010
If you had told me last August that I would be seeing John Bishop's Edinburgh show performed at the Hammersmith Apollo nine months later, I would have bet against it, even after Bishop was nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award later that month. Still, the award nomination has precipitated much television work, Bishop's stock is most definitely up and a new TV vehicle beckons in the autumn.
Tonight, Bishop's titular Elvis only enters the building in the second half, with the first half devoted to "messing about". This equates to tales of his new-found fame, including telling his kids off by phone before entering the Jonathan Ross green room to join Jeff Bridges, Westlife and Courtney Love ("I was only in her company two hours, but I can't blame that Kurt Cobain fella").
The second half faithfully reprises Bishop's Edinburgh show, about a man coming to terms with middle age (brought into focus when he finds out from a documentary that Elvis died at 42). Cue a generous routine devoted to the well-worn clichés of gym membership, clothes that don't look good anymore and muscles he doesn't think he needs his personal trainer to find since he says won't be using them at his age anyway. While this is standard fare, Bishop pleases the crowd by conjuring sucker punches where it matters.
The crowd-pleasing aspect of the canny comic's act is cemented in the finale, where footage from Elvis's emotional 1972 concert overlaps with clips of Bishop playing in a charity game for his beloved Liverpool at Anfield. Billed as two men living their dream, the sequence is a dead-cert tug on the heartstrings.
Despite some longeurs, Bishop commands warmth and applause from his audience and he'll go marching on with a new TV show, a DVD and a new tour to look forward to in the autumn. Elvis may have left the building, but there's a new comedian in town, a man who would be the king.
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 2 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
- 4 Amy Winehouse unpublished 2004 interview: ‘Ten years from now I’ll be 30, so I’ll maybe have one baby’
- 5 Dutch paedophile club to fight their ban at the European Court of Human Rights
Immigration Street meeting sees local residents demand producers 'go away' and Channel 4 scrap planned series
Hercules, review: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson takes centre stage in preposterous film
Fight Club 2: Chuck Palahniuk sequel is a 'meta-fictional comment on the cultural response to the original'
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains