Tom Ballard’s It Is I is a bubbly and smugly riotous hour full of puns and political commentary. Ballard doesn't seem to be content to only do a stand-up hour, and by including a self-deprecatory twist throughout his material, he goes from great to exceptional. It Is I starts as an update on Ballard’s own life, before moving onto the state of the world where Ballard pokes fun at how hopeless and unthinkable it all seems.
Mocks the establishment as thoroughly as it possibly can
One of Ballard’s talents is that through his observationist style, he is able to keep the energy in the room up no matter how depressing the truth behind some of his material is. This satire of privatisation and deregulation mocks the establishment as thoroughly as it possibly can. As It Is I moves from the political to personal, it really nails home its own anti-monarchist commentary about privilege and the mourning of such privilege. Ballard finds original and thought-provoking sources of humour that comes from his own application and relation to the issues that he discusses and makes fun of. This not only giving us something new to think about as we leave his show but also a new sense of appreciation for what a stand-up hour can encompass.
When dealing with an obnoxious heckler, Ballard shows a real degree of grace and good-humour in shutting them down, somehow managing to initially turn an annoyance into a source of ridicule and mockery by working it into his material. When this heckling persists and becomes rather nasty, Ballard firmly shuts it down, and clearly defines the line between funny and offensive.
It Is I is a fantastic political hour, and provides a shadenfreude-esque outlet. Ballard has a true knack for providing creative political commentary in his stand-up. The only real option for us after this show is to go and read his book, if only to keep reliving his rallying spirit and good humour.