Chris Stokes: An Opera Written On Napkins

The phrase ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ is one your parents will most certainly have quoted at you at some point - no doubt when it seemed a particularly unhelpful and unsympathetic moment to do so. However, Chris Stokes seems to have fully embraced this notion, making not only lemonade but a whole stand-up routine out of the less fortunate moments of his life.

A self-proclaimed nerd, Stokes takes the audience through recollections of bullying, an inability to fight the urge to use the phrase ‘I think you’ll find’ and the difficulties of having a blokey uncle to whom he is a constant disappointment. It is self-deprecating, largely clean humour that plays on awkwardness and our penchant for laughing at others’ misfortunes; and it works. Stokes uses a good mixture of long, layered narratives and quick one liners to keep the audience laughing for the hour and his relatively low ticket price makes this a good value for money show.

An improvement could be made by cutting some references to his inability to connect with others. Much of the routine hinges on this idea but after the first ten minutes it is already well established with the audience and this should relieve him of the need to keep revisiting it; after a while it is no longer self-deprecating, it’s just irritating.

Generally this is a good, value for money show that kept the audience laughing and marks Stokes as one to look out for in years to come.

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.
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Theatre MAD
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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.
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The Blurb

Award-winning debut show (Best Show, Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival 2012) from Milton Jones Tour support Chris Stokes. 'Hilarious' (Scotsman). 'Very smart material' (Chortle.co.uk). 'His playful and mischievous daring was intoxicating' (Leicester Mercury).

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