Format: Comedy Show
Review Date: January 25 2020
Performance: January 25 2020
Location: Playhouse Theatre, Liverpool
Duration: 150 Minutes incl. an interval
Back in 2017, it seemed like we had seen the last of John Shuttleworth, with the character created by Graham Fellows being retired after 30 years in the limelight. But then came the news that he was set to return, hence the name of this show John Shuttleworth’s Back, and so here he was at Liverpool’s Playhouse Theatre.
Although it’s a treat to see John back doing what he does best (combining comedy with music in an unorthodox yet highly entertaining fashion), his style is also appealing to anybody seeing or hearing about him for the first time, as evidenced by this performance here.
John appeared on stage with his back initially turned to a sell-out audience as he took in cheering and applause. Upon turning around, John played his keyboard and started with a song that referred to 20/20 vision and lumbago. This was the first of several original tunes which tickled the funny bones of all on hand.
Indeed, there were songs about a wide variety of subjects, such as his “blue kettle” and his Y-reg car, which he eventually swapped for a Citroen Berlingo; describing this, he said he had won the bingo, and he also mentioned when the car lets him down 500 bus stops. He also sang to “save the whale”; hey, I said he covered a plethora of topics!
It wasn’t just about music, though. Indeed, John garnered attention with his descriptions of previous gigs in hospices and Bakewell Library, the latter of which fittingly earned him “shushes” from the crowd! He also, during the performance, rang his wife and his agent Ken on his mobile. Shuttleworth noted how Ken’s love life is not going very well as he keeps being rejected by various females, and that his wife is not speaking to him because he has misplaced part of a matching brush and dustpan set, plus she wanted a hoover, which led to a row. Indeed, this was surreal comedy, but it struck the right chord with this crowd, as I’m sure it would with any, really. His description of household appliances was hilarious, and he found time to mention other subjects in an amusing manner, such as the noise created by cagoules when taking them off.
On the whole, it was absolutely fabulous to see John Shuttleworth live, and his show is highly recommended. John Shuttleworth is indeed back, and hopefully based on this evidence, he’s sticking around!
Overall Rating: 9/10 – Outstanding
John Shuttleworth performs at Runcorn’s Brindley Theatre on February 12 2020. To buy tickets, click here or call 0151 907 8360.
For more information about John Shuttleworth, click here.