Norfolk is often ridiculed for being stuck in its ways, but things can change: this is a solo Nimmo Twin’s gig.
With just Karl Minns on stage – initially as Larkman estate mum She Go – the show nonetheless stays true to the formula that has made the act’s shows so popular since their 1996 debut: a ruthless but affectionate roasting of life in Norfolk.
The script owes a heavy debt to the Eastern Daily Press’s online portrayal of the county in 2019, with some intriguing and esoteric headlines proving the reliable (if at times, surreal) jump-start to observations about what it means to live here, from the Sheringham sink hole to the redevelopment of Norwich’s Anglia Square.
Some of the gags only work if you have a long memory of Norfolk life – Kevin Piper left Anglia TV about 14 years ago, and sadly Carpet Call long ago switched to a less-than memorable freephone number – but judging by the audience reaction, that knowledge was exactly what the sold-out crowd possessed.
They lapped up the affectionate ribbing of Stalham, Aylsham, and Thetford. They warmed to the references to Stewart White and Daniel Farke. They cheered on the satirical pokes at Greater Anglia and First Bus.
Minn’s performances in the second half, particularly as singer Billy Boy and actor Beeston Regis, demonstrated the depth of his skills as an actor and comic performer – to some extent showing up the enjoyable but easier material pre-interval.
This is quibbling though. The night was perfectly pitched to give the audience exactly what they wanted: a chance to revel in the absurd joy of living in Norfolk, a place that can combine the mystic legacy of St Julian of Norwich and a bald male comedian wearing women’s leisurewear and a dodgy wig within the space of an evening, and not bat an eye.
Tickets are rare but if you can get one, go: all will be well, and all manner of things shall be well.
She Go Looks Back From Behind at 2019 continues at Norwich Playhouse until Sunday, January 26.