22nd June – Jason Manford – First World Problems – Plymouth Pavilions

Two things really bugged me about this show. First up, as with most big arena tours lately, no support act. This used to be a staple, but the current trend is for the headliner to milk every penny of the takings for themselves. So even less chances for up and comers to make their mark.

Secondly, at the end of this Show Jason made a heartfelt plea for the audience to pick up the brochure and go and see an act they didn’t know. He stressed that all the arena tours are run by the same four management companies. Nothing false there. But then he made an outrageous comment, that anybody any good was with one of those companies. This makes me sick as both a punter and on behalf of the dozens of acts we have seen over the last year, who quite frankly should be on a big stage or on TV.

OK, rant over. So what about this show? It was good, but oh so safe. Nothing remotely offensive as you would expect from a man who is part of the establishment and is first choice for presenting TV shows. The material was much like his last tour with focuses on parenthood. The overall theme being to highlight really small things that annoy people, like having a poo and realising halfway through that you have no loo paper.

The first half was talking to the audience. And then bits of paper were left at the front for people to write down their pet peeves and a fair proportion of the second half was going through these. A bit like the joke competition at Annabels. Don’t get me wrong, we laughed a lot, but this is not a show we will remember for long.

To his credit Jason did come out and sign autographs and pose for pics outside after the show, despite a nasty bit of persistent rain.  I think we would have liked to see him before he was famous when he really had to work for it.

Jason Manford

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