Pierre Novellie: Why Can’t I Just Enjoy Things?

Writing a positive review is quite difficult without using hyperbole, and in the spirit of Pierre Novellie’s Why Can’t I Just Enjoy Things, it is prudent to at least attempt to do so. A relatively cynical observationist, Novellie creates a show that forces us to confront some disappointing truths about reality and the subjectivity of experiencing enjoyment.

If most things are just middling, Novellie’s comedy is an exception to the rule

Novellie has the ability to describe every aspect of the mundane, and turn it into the type of joke that stems from having to confront a disappointing reality. But we’re not laughing to scare away a feeling of depression, but rather in agreement, as Novellie presents us with ideas that seek to find absurdity in the mundane. There are moments in this set that are quite daring, in an ‘I can’t believe he said that’ kind of way, but these moments of shock are quite tempered by the fact that there is a discernible truth behind everything Novellie says. He says it in such a straightforward and honest matter that comes off as rather world weary and adds fuel to the proverbial comedic fire.

It’s an interesting structure; it’s an observationist set wrapped up in an anecdote which veers off in several unexpected directions, a tangent with embellishments if you like; a show so convoluted that when Novellie starts to explain his train of thought, I gave up very quickly trying to track it in my notes, because there is so much to each point in his thought progression that no one but Novellie could make it all make sense. In this way, it is a completely unexpected set, after all it is not every day that you come across a comedian who reviews products and tenets of the everyday in such an entertaining and creative way that could easily put critics out of work.

Over the course of the show, Novellie answers the question at the heart of his show in a way that is bound to capture our thoughts and imaginations for the forseeable future. Every so often a comedian performs a set that is so intelligently written and mesmerising that it not only gives us a glimpse into their own life, but gives us an opportunity to take a really hard look at ourselves, our actions and ultimately what we want. Because what Novellie discusses in the show - whether it’s about the different way we express joy or the true disappointments of a meal deal sandwich - is in its own way, applicable to every member of the audience. This is the power of Novellie’s comedy, the fact that he creates a space to allow us to reflect and learn. It is rare that I leave a stand-up show with a to do list and a self-improvement kick. Did this show shatter my place in the universe? Honestly, I’m not sure, as there is something profound in Why Can’t I Just Enjoy Things? that just sticks with you afterwards, so much so that I am still trying to fully understand myself.

Why Can’t I Just Enjoy Things? is more than just 6/10 or fine. It’s the laughing crying emoji or ‘throwing up, crying, dead’. Whatever language you use, saying that this is an amazing show that comes from a very sophisticated and intelligent comedic mind isn’t an exaggeration. If most things are just middling, Novellie’s comedy is an exception to the rule.

Reviews by Katerina Partolina Schwartz

Monkey Barrel Comedy

Steve Bugeja: Self Doubt (I Think)

★★★★
Music Hall Aberdeen

Iain Stirling - Relevant

★★★★
Queen Elizabeth Hall

The House with the Chicken Legs

★★
Lyric Theatre

Peter Pan Goes Wrong

★★★★
Eventim Apollo

Iliza Shlesinger - Hard Feelngs Tour

★★★★★
Park Theatre London

The Time Machine

★★★★★

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

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Before the plague and WW3 I was a chortling, apple-cheeked blacksmith and now I am a scowling wretch in a tattered cloak. The show is observational comedy for people who think they don’t like observational comedy. A mixture of high-brow and low-brow references from five-star receiving, award-winning, hit-podcasting, Frank Skinner-supporting Pierre Novellie.

Most Popular See More

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £42.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets