Rather ironically given the topics, Alistair McGowan’s new stand-up show is a game of two halves.
His two-night residency at Norwich Playhouse was heavily biased towards sporting impressions, with football players and pundits taking the brunt of his mimicry. For those, like me, that don’t follow the noble game much of the act therefore just washed over me — though his David Beckham and Roy Hodgson impressions are strong enough to tickle even a football heretic.
Elsewhere his aim was targeted at fellow comedians and politicians, and in those arenas I can attest to his vocal skills. While clearly part-caricature, his takes on Jack Dee and Dara O Briain hit the mark superbly, and his version of Diane Abbott was a surprise treat.
Where McGowan is let down is not by his impressions but the material that they appear in. He did weave in some topical and local references, but too much is mild, evergreen content driven more by what voices he can do than the strength of the jokes.
He also has an annoying tic of naming the person he is about to become, a helping hand the audience shouldn’t really need (and for the most part don’t).
I’d say he’s looking at a mid-table finish.