Barry From Watford: Shooting from The (new) Hip

The whirr of a granny-mobile jolts into action and within seconds Barry from Watford zooms onto stage, bleating a tuneless song to the utter (and somewhat surprising) delight of the audience. Energy buzzes its way through an hour in which this caricature, created and acted by Alex Lowe, discusses the absurdities of the life of Barry.

The first ten minutes of the show left me feeling sceptical about what was to come, as even Barry admits his sense of humour won’t get much beyond an opening quip on his wife taking a dump in a restaurant toilet. He repeatedly reverts to a slurred and dilapidated delivery of lines, which may have delighted the die-hard Barry fans of the audience, but it irritated the rest of us. However after the realisation that Barry’s bulbous, shiny nose was not real and neither were those yellowing, cracked teeth, this character comedy became a little more comprehensible.

Thankfully as the show goes on Barry lessens his slurring of random lines and at times goes beyond base humour to achieve some very funny moments. His musings upon the frivolities of middle class life – for example his view on what is ‘essential’ according to Waitrose – was quite frankly hilarious. Unfortunately this is tainted by unfunny and predictable humour (his jokes on the royal family have all been heard before). Nevertheless Lowe deserves credit for the energy of Barry that is sustained in the delivery of every line.

Barry’s life is fleshed out with the varied use of props and stage equipment. The images projected onto the screen behind him introduced us to everything from the joys of his childhood to the fading joys of his wife Margaret. Likewise when he peruses old records snapped up in closing-down sales from that HMV on Watford High Street, the audience shares in his glee. The construction of the show works; props successfully develop the oddities of Barry, working towards a finale in which he tries his hand at ventriloquism with a puppet even more doddery than himself.

If you’ve never listened to Steve Wright’s show on Radio 2, don’t bother with this show as it’s definitely one for the Barry-lovers out there, but if you’re a fan this won’t be one for you to miss.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now


The Blurb

Shooting from the (new) hip, still alive and kicking, the nation's favourite octogenarian and hit of Radio 2's Steve Wright in the Afternoon and Sky Atlantic's Common Ground returns with a brand new stand-up show.

Most Popular See More

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £32.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £54.00

More Info

Find Tickets