Stuart Mitchell: Dealt a Bad Hand

As soon as Stuart Mitchell entered the room, I knew I was in a safe pair of hands. His easy confidence and repartee with the audience meant that there was none of the five or ten minute’s awkwardness whilst the comic waits for the room to warm to him. Although the jokes were mainly old-fashioned one-liners, Mitchell’s conversational delivery and honest subject matter meant that the hour flew by and you were left wanting more.

Mitchell’s gags may not be profoundly original, but they’re certainly effective.

Mitchell’s material covers a number of difficult themes including the loss of his parents, the tips of two of his fingers, and his hair at an early age. While none of these topics seem like laughing matters, his descriptions of loss are peppered with a steady stream of gags that means somehow you’re cackling all the way through. Mitchell believes that laughter is sometimes the only way to make it through tough times, and in this way the show offers a fairly inspirational way of coping with grief.

The jokes themselves are simple but effective and in the end it’s Mitchell himself, and his candid sharing of his life experience that hold the greatest appeal. His anecdotes range from Mitchell’s toughest gig in front of a crowd of prisoners to playing notorious serial killer Bible John in an ITV documentary, a welcome break from the sometimes more mundane, observational humour from Michael McIntyre et. al.

None of the jokes really fell flat, though some were funnier than others, and Mitchell’s quick wit and wealth of material meant that there was never a dull moment. Some of the gags may seem a bit predictable, but Mitchell is charming enough to pull them off. Probably one of the best ways to laugh along with someone about death and loss without feeling guilty for doing so, Mitchell’s gags may not be profoundly original, but they’re certainly effective.

Reviews by Simon Fearn

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★★★
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★★★★
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★★★
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

From BBC Radio Scotland's Breaking the News, 'Scotland's brightest comedy talent' **** (Sun), this is a must-see for 2016. Stuart has been dealt a bad hand, and not just in life. From tragic accidents and medical complications to losing both parents, this debut is a hilarious take on dealing with life's misfortunes and coming out the other end unscathed. 'Comparisons will inevitably be drawn between Mitchell and Kevin Bridges' (ThreeWeeks). 'Please go see Stuart Mitchell!' (Will Ferrell). 'Amazing performance. It's a pleasure to catch him before he makes it big' **** (Skinny).