Royal Free Rocks With Laughter, comedy review

Adelphi Theatre, London

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The Independent Culture

Comedy talent spanning four decades came together for this one-off event to raise money for the new immunity unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London, held to coincide with World Aids Day.

Matt Lucas was the glue that bound the evening together, and the Little Britain star did so with aplomb - kicking off with an imagined hosting stint with the un-PC Hollywood star Mel Gibson.

Actual charges, who were slightly less outspoken, included the effervescent Harry Hill ("Tim Rice, Tim Curry, what is it about the name Tim that suggests Indian food?"), and the ebullient Lee Mack (I'm celebrating two years' happy marriage. We've been together twelve years - most of it has been shit").

In the second half Rowan Atkinson reprised his schoolmaster sketch from the 1979 The Secret Policeman's Ball, meanwhile Paul Whitehouse and Harry Enfield reprised yesteryear DJ duo Smashie and Nicey, with an inevitable, but effective, nod to Operation Yewtree.

Tim Vine knocked out corny-but-clever puns before another reunion, The League of Gentlemen, closed the show that also included Mitchell and Webb, Barry and Stuart, Jack Whitehall, Julian Clary and Graham Norton, The Overtones and Beverley Knight.

What could have been a gruelling marathon ended up a sprightly showcase where no one outstayed their welcome.