Comedy review: Stewart Lee - Much A-Stew About Nothing, Leicester Square Theatre

Lee takes on Ed Miliband, UKIP and immigration in trademark style

Julian Hall
Friday 08 November 2013 16:37 GMT
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Stewart Lee
Stewart Lee

Though I'm personally invited to drop a star by Lee tonight, I'll resist the temptation. This rating comes with a caveat, however. The ursine comic's often sublime shtick (here ranging over politics, race and age) still requires those allergic to alienating repetition, knowing deconstruction and long-game subversion to deal with that, albeit to a lesser extent than before.

Shakespeare, assured my English teacher, always supplied a direct hit even in his most involved passages. So it is with fellow West Midlander Lee, who can despatch his targets with caustic brevity: "You have to have imagination on the left... to look at Ed Miliband and imagine that he represents anything other than the destruction of the post-war socialist dream."

For UKIP deputy leader, Paul Nuttall, there is more trademark, and therefore more elaborate, rebuff. Lee takes Nuttall's view that Bulgaria should retain its high achievers to a nihilistic conclusion, reaching it via a backwards chronological rundown of immigration that includes the evolution of fish to land animals.

The mix of pathos and playfulness is heightened in a closing sequence where Lee puffs himself up only to puncture his ego and portrays himself as a burnt out performer, berated by his family who apply their own 'dropped star' rating to him.

Until 19 January (08448 733433), then tours until 15 February

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