Ian Smith is the first to admit that Anything is perhaps too generically named, so the audience are forgiven for being apprehensive. This non-descript, hour-long stand up show truly gives nothing away before the audience sits down. However the proceeding hour goes by in a whirlwind of hysterical laughter.
His humour is relevant and in the moment, the first joke to break the ice being about his 35p drink consumed in that very minute - as promised it did seem to ‘stimulate’ the comedy.
There was a momentary panic at the start of the show when Smith announced the material that hadn’t made the cut in his set, which created and gentle ripple of awkward tittering. Fortunately for Smith, this early failure bore no resemblance whatsoever to the remaining 57 minutes. His use of audience participation merged faultlessly a pre-prepared set with an incredibly natural and personal touch.
Smith’s biggest asset is his ability to execute potentially overused material in an entertaining manner. He takes what is traditionally viewed as crude humour and makes it funny in today’s supposedly shockproof society, for example, boobs, testicles and poo. His clever tactic is to weave his jokes seamlessly throughout the show and constantly revisit them to create a spontaneously funny duration.
His self-deprecating humour is refreshing, most specifically the mention of his fleeting appearance in the series performance in Popatron, on BBC2. The audience revelled in the irony and sarcasm and the atmosphere was outstanding, despite the aptly described ‘portacabin’ only being half full.
The climax of the show is the discovery that the 16-inch television set up behind Ian has a purpose and shows a perfectly timed, witty and original video summing up the show. This show is fantastically fresh and funny, a testament to British comedy.