Performer: Michael Spicer
Show: The Room Next Tour
Location: Playhouse Theatre, Liverpool
Date: Saturday October 9 2021
Running Time: 120 Minutes
Age Rating: 14+
Production Company: Michael Spicer
This is Michael Spicer, the creator of internet sensation The Room Next Door. And now he discusses his life making comedy under the radar. Not to mention his viral hits in the past. And above all, he provides all-new Room Next Door sketches during this much-anticipated debut live tour. So, this is a special opportunity to see the man from The Room Next Door finally leave his room behind. And so you need to be there to see him walk out on the live stage.
One fella with a headset, some box files and the innate ability to find the funny in some of the ‘personalities’ we have on our TV screens each day. I say ‘funny’, however, a lot of it is the ‘if you don’t laugh you’ll cry’ brand of comedy. A flavour we’ve long become accustomed to in this country. However, Michael Spicer is one of the few shining the spotlight on the absurdity of domestic and global politics at present. The fact that most of the joke is done for him, what with the 24-hour news cycle and the lack of preparation, or even ability some of these government heads (and heads of state) have, the way in which Spicer presents it really beggars belief. More often than not, sadly.
The Room Next Door videos made Spicer an overnight sensation. Before tonight, that’s all I knew about Michael Spicer. However, he’s been making us laugh (and cry) for a lot longer than that. More like a 20-year, overnight sensation.
Without giving too much away, some of the most well-known memes in recent years actually came originally from Spicer. Adapted from previous tweets of his and re-made into images with stock footage, but the jokes themselves, were Spicer’s. This is a tack that I didn’t expect this evening to take. It seems he’s been humouring me for a lot longer than I realised. Going viral doesn’t necessarily mean that you go viral.
From doctored phone transcripts between Blair and Clinton and UKIP leader’s film reviews to top tips for interviewing, Spicer was there, in the background, carefully manipulating the ‘message’. Much like the on-screen persona of the fictional adviser prompting Johnson, Patel and Hancock. However, when you put yourself in the spotlight and that goes viral, that’s when you go viral.
I wasn’t sure just how The Room Next Door was going to transfer to the stage but Spicer has done it so well. The evening is setup like a lecture. Stage left is a lectern from where Spicer presents his journey through script and sketch writing, the fickle mistress that is viral social media and how none of it up to the birth of The Room Next Door enabled him to get away from his main earner at the time. Copyrighting. The frustrated fella in the hoodie with copious notes and a disdain for idiots put paid to that. Stage right, is the familiar setting of laptop, box files and strewn papers. The Room Next Door’s set.
We’re back and forth throughout the evening between the lectern, the set and the huge projector screen behind. Sometimes we’re watching pre-recorded and pre-released episodes while Spicer sits behind the laptop scribbling notes as if he’s debriefing himself for the next time he has to talk in the ear of Prince Andrew and often we’re treated to an actual reenactment. The screen playing the interviews and him on stage shouting, lambasting and guiding the sorry sap in the headlights. If you’re already a fan, this is an absolute treat. An almost ‘Behind The Scenes’ look.
Satire is one of my preferred genres of comedy. Always has been. The beauty of Spicer’s brand of satire is just how it’s presented. It’s not just an image or a clip that’s commented on. He puts his character right in there. In the thick of it (pun intended). And while the finished product is seamless, the editing and timing in his videos is superb. To then be able to recreate that on stage is commendable.
I loved it. There’s nothing more to say really. If he were speaking in my ear right now, he’d probably be telling me just how better to put this. How I could invoke Shakespeare and draw the parallels between the Bard’s asides in pointing out the banality of what we’re seeing and how society deserves better. Demands better. NEEDS better. But he’s not, so I won’t.
Suffice to say, it was good to watch. You should watch it too.
Target Audience: 14+
Content: Frequent Adult Themes, Mild Language
Overall Rating: 10/10 – Perfect
Michael Spicer Further Links
Michael Spicer’s Room Next Tour continues across the UK. To purchase tickets, please click here.
For more information about this show, click here.
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