The Old Fire Station
Perrier Comedy Award winner Sean Hughes approached the end of his Mumbo Jumbo tour as he visited The Old Fire Station Venue in Carlisle. His political satire combined with middle aged hindsight was fused with a humorous ad-lib candour delivered in what seemed to be an off the cuff comedic show. After just turning 50 Sean shares the wealth of his middle aged life experience with the middle aged audience where he discusses, “the kettle in the garden moments!” This is defined as the moment you are standing in the garden holding a kettle without an explanation of how you got there. The stand-up comic led the audience through a nostalgic trip of the sexual prowess of the 50 year old male by explaining that when a man is in his twenties he wants “fast sex against a skip.” However when you’re in your fifties you begin to look at life from a pragmatic perspective, “the skip looks cold, better wrap up” or “look at the microwave in there – I think it still works.” He tantalised the crowd by declaring, “At 50 my libido has gone, but I’m growing my own tits so it’s not all bad.”
Through the first half of the show he mocked the ailments and the miseries that become an ageing male whilst taking a sentimental stroll back to his youth by comparing the Bay City Rollers with One Direction. It’s not until we are nearing the end of the first half that we are introduced to the Sean’s Mumbo Jumbo philosophy. The comedian defines Mumbo Jumbo as the battle one has between nonsense and common sense. It is the little voice inside of you that tells you to behave in a nonsensical manner. Sean explains by stating, “You wake up in the morning and your common sense tells you, have a cup of coffee and catch up on world events” but the Mumbo Jumbo inside says “drink the left over wine instead.” or touch the lamppost because it’s lucky. It’s the voice of unreason and illogic spontaneous behaviour.
As the first half closes the crowd is lively and in good spirits. However the second half of the show lacked the pace and laughs of the first half. As the show took a murkier twist the comic began using offensive and crude material based upon Rolf Harris, “Catholicism, Jesus and other mythical creatures.” Raised a Catholic – Sean was unrelentingly tasteless as he mocked how he had drank the life force of Christ and it tasted salty. An angry Catholic responded to the ill tasting humour by heckling the dumb struck comedian with an anti-Muslim slur. However Sean didn’t remain silent for long as he shushed the critic quickly with his antagonising wit whilst developing his tag line of the evening; “You people are really weird!” Despite the lull during the start of the second half, Hughes entertained the audience with laughs, poetry, life stories, music and his love of animals creating an amusing atmosphere within the intimate venue.
So what’s next for Sean Hughes? The writer, actor comedian will be guest starring in the Casualty Christmas special which airs in December – so tune in.
Reviewer : Katrina Hewgill