Steve Hughes

Steve Hughes opened his set at Norwich Playhouse tonight with a joke about the length of the flight between his native Australia and the UK.

Judging by most of his material, that journey may have lasted years rather than hours.

We were treated to such hoary old chestnuts as crazy health and safety rules, political correctness, and the complications of buying a cup of coffee in a modern cafe.

As the gig progressed we zipped back further in time, as Steve explained the folly of children’s rights, disabled rights, gay rights, and women’s rights (breasts are, it seems, an unarguable bar to a career). All these are apparently part of some arch-conspiracy to enable ‘them’ to control society and prevent us exploring our “inner space” while scientists and experts explore outer space.

I can only assume that logic is down to the other cliched part of Steve’s act: the celebration of drugs. Hardly a imaginative stretch for someone who has spent time in the music industry, and something that has left him using the word “transdimensional” rather too frequently.

Steve’s act is (il)liberally peppered with swearing, not something I generally have a problem with in comedy but I do take exception when it becomes a substitute for a proper punchline: yes, American foreign policy has been regrettable in recent years but calling them rude names doesn’t constitute a joke.

If this was supposed to be biting social commentary, it felt more like the misguided rantings of someone who had forgotten to put their dentures in.