Sean Lock: Lockipedia, Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh

Julian Hall
Friday 03 September 2010 00:00
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Sean Lock has always been known as a comedian's comedian, but his appeal has widened over the years thanks to television exposure, notably on 8 out of 10 Cats and QI, so that labels and tags such as "under-rated" no longer tell the full story.

I have always struggled to get engrossed in Lock's amiable dad-like qualities and unreconstructed approach to life, where men skive, play air guitar and indulge in pub banter rather than Tweet, even if he is entirely correct to identify Twitter as being for people "who can't be quiet even when they are on their own."

A beaming smile and a cheeky twinkle in his eye accompany most of what comic says, but he's not without side, shortening the expression "charity muggers" into "chuggers" and then into something shorter and much ruder.

There's something ever-so-slightly unsettling about this synthesis of father figure and angry man, at once corny and thorny. The stand-up's incongruous air is further reinforced by his use of an ear-piece microphone. For someone as old-school as Lock, it's odd to see.

In a blunt routine about people who complain they are wheat-intolerant, Lock builds to a great set piece in which he suggests that ailments can only be taken seriously if they qualify as Olympic sports, the OCD hurdles for example, an event that is milked for its inherent physical comedy.

Sprightly and limber, and irrespective of any question marks over Lock's slippery persona, this concertinaed tour set lies somewhere between bronze and silver.

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