In Frank Skinner's Thirty Years of Dirt (a clever pun I shamefully only just got this second), Skinner proves exactly what makes him such a dab hand at this comedy malarkey. It's obvious from the outset that he is a complete master of his craft - his every inflection and pause keeps the audience on tenterhooks, eagerly awaiting the next laugh, while enjoying each anecdote.
A complete master of his craft - his every inflection and pause keeps the audience on tenterhooks
It's not obvious whether his delivery is rehearsed to a T or naturally adapted to the response of the room, but it's faultless regardless. He interacts well with the audience, asking various members their name and engaging them intermittently, in a manner that never feels manufactured. Each interaction is on point and helps generate a positive atmosphere in the room, even when he inoffensively berates those who provide little for him to build on, with hilarious pre-planned metaphors.
With complete command of the stage, Frank deconstructs comedy and the psyche of the audience - in a similar vein but more universally accessible way to Stewart Lee - providing insightful and enlightening social commentary peppered with quippy asides. For a comedy fan, you can't help but admire the artistry, which outranks the material, consistently worth listening to as it is.
The yarns he spins are well-chosen and well-crafted, with belly laughs all but guaranteed, though occasionally we need to wait a little while between them. If you have even a passing interest in seeing one half of the UK chart's best selling single from the world of comedy (sorry, Mr Dodd, wipe your Tears), then this is an ideal opportunity to do so. It's stand-up near its absolutely finest (maybe 10-15% off - watch the show to appreciate the reference) and an absolute masterclass in polished stagecraft.