Declan Amphlett: Verbal Remedies

Declan Amphlett is going into his fourth year at Cambridge, and has just returned from a year abroad in France. He's only recently broken up with his girlfriend, and is trying to find his way in the world as a semi-awkward, middlingly attractive (according to him) man. 

It is a delight to watch this young comic

Amphlett spins these familiar elements into an hour of smart, fast-paced and thoroughly self-deprecating stand up. He speaks at rapid-fire speed, misdirecting and meta-analysing at every turn. Amphlett's time in the Cambridge Footlights was clearly well spent, and he guides his surreal set ups confidently to their payoffs. One gag about plagiarism is particularly smart and unravels in a way I wasn’t expecting.

Some of the jokes are a little gratuitous, and overly reliant on self-aware semantics; “Declan Amphlett is half-Irish, half-English, and seventy percent water. He isn't quite sure how that adds up.” It’s a pointless surrealism that doesn’t quite hit the mark. Or, as Declan Amphlett might say, ‘it’s a surrealism that doesn’t quite hit the mark – not that there is a mark, this is is a comedy show not an over-sixties amateur darts game, and even if there was a mark would hitting it truly be a worthwhile achievement, when there’s so much injustice in the world?’ However, the ceaseless flurry of actually funny high-concept material, combined with Amphlett’s genuine likeability, makes up for these slightly irritating Oxbridge-wholesale syllogisms.

There are also ad libbed moments, and Amphlett demonstrates a quick wit, responding to a dissatisfied group who left early with a joyfully ironic self-awareness – “come back next year, hopefully I'll have improved”. These spontaneous moments were as funny as the material itself – it's always a relief to know that a comedian is funny in person and not just a frigid joke-machine.

Amphlett also includes some of his own comedy songs, which are mercifully not pastiches. The lyrics were generally funny, particularly in a song about Amphlett’s devil-may-care attitude to life, which covers such debaucheries as unsafely removing memory sticks. Sometimes the songs drag on a little, but the music is creative enough to make the melodies enjoyable in themselves.

This is Amphlett's first stand up show, and naturally, not everything falls together perfectly. However, it is a delight to watch this young comic, and he's someone worth looking out for. If you're not a fan, hopefully he'll have improved next year...

Reviews by Ben Munster

Spiegeltent at Southbank Centre

Marcel Lucont's Cabaret Fantastique

★★★★
King's Head Theatre Pub

The Service

★★★★
theSpace @ Symposium Hall

Afterhours Comedy: Amused Moose Comedy

★★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

UCL Graters: Smashing

★★★★
Assembly Roxy

Joanne McNally: Bite Me

★★★★
Laughing Horse @ The Counting House

Andy Stedman – Parental Guidance

★★

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 £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Declan Amphlett is half-Irish, half-English, and seventy percent water. He isn't quite sure how that adds up. Join this Cambridge Footlight for his debut hour of stand-up at the Edinburgh Fringe. 'Faultless' ***** (Varsity). 'Superbly written and ingeniously performed' ***** (Cambridge Theatre Review). 'All hits, no misses' ***** (The Tab). 'The makings of a brilliant stand-up comic' **** (The Cambridge Student). 'Undeniably funny' **** ThreeWeeks).

Most Popular See More

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Grease the Musical

From £20.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets