Micky Flanagan: The Out Out Tour, Hammersmith Apollo, London
Tuesday 29 March 2011
There's good reason for the extra spring in the step of Micky Flanagan's signature Cockney walk this evening. After nearly 15 years in comedy, and jobs before that which have included fish-packer and dishwasher, the Bethnal Green-bred 46-year-old was strutting out on to the stage of a venue that seats over 3,500 people and is synonymous with career ascendancy.
While much of Flanagan's language and some of his routines could be considered coarse, his cherubic face and generosity of spirit enable him to distance himself from any offence that might be given, even when assessing the seduction possibilities of a woman before and after the Gok Wan treatment. Much more deserving are those people who have let their teeth go, rather than just their looks: "Who are these people who give up on their nuggets?" Flanagan demands. "We're not between the wars!"
Class, and sometimes the lack thereof, is at the core of Flanagan's material, which contrasts middle and working-class mores in the context of social changes since the 1970s, when Flanagan grew up. Ironically, this makes him a comic who could be considered "retro", a quality now prized by the kind of middle-class incomers who gentrified much of the East End he grew up in.
Without ever taking sides as such, as befits his own journey between classes, Flanagan ruffles middle-class feathers in a way that tickles them and is nostalgic about more working-class memories. While, in his childhood, his mum told him his complaints of hunger only meant he would enjoy his dinner more, now deli owners set extravagant prices for artichokes for the same reason.
In the intervening years, Flanagan got himself a degree (claiming that some of his fellow students were thinking: "The window cleaner is a bit keen isn't he?") and has clearly graduated to a prime position for social commentary.
Touring to 1 June ( www.mickyflanagan.com)
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Fifty Shades of Grey trailer: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 50 books for students to read this summer: From Ernest Hemingway to Gillian Flynn
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Hercules, review: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson takes centre stage in preposterous movie
Fifty Shades of Grey trailer: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Game of Thrones Sansa Stark actress Sophie Turner stars in Bastille's 'Oblivion' video
50 Shades of Grey movie trailer declared sexy and sexist on Twitter
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
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
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