Undercover Review | Chris Ramsey @ The Regent
I’m a huge comedy fan, so when I was offered the chance to head to The Regent to see Chris Ramsey live on stage, I jumped at the chance! Best known for his appearances on comedy panel shows including ‘Mock the Week’ and ‘8 out of 10 Cats’, and – more recently – his very own ‘The Chris Ramsey Show’, the Geordie comic’s style is simple, yet effective: relatable and down-to-earth.
Arriving at The Regent for the 7:30pm show, I was pleasantly surprised at not having to queue at the box office; my partner and I headed straight to the desk, received our tickets and were quickly on our way to the most important stop: the bar. At £11 for a pint of beer and a glass of Prosecco, it wasn’t the cheapest round of the night; but short of smuggling in a hip flask, it was a necessary evil.
Next, the queue for the toilets. With ten minutes to go before the start of the show, I expected most visitors to be already in their seats, but seemingly those as half-cut as me had left it until the last minute. Surprisingly, the long queue quickly dispersed. I’m a bit of a public-toilet-snob and resent having to use loo roll-covered cubicles that make you want to hover over the seat, but The Regent surpassed my expectations on this front. The whole environment was clean, well-stocked, and even smelled pleasant. 10/10 for first impressions.
The layout of the venue allows for ease of access, wherever your seat: plenty of entrances into the stalls, with the aisles well-lit to assist even the most gin-fuelled eyes. We easily found our seats in row H, with an aisle seat for my long-legged boyfriend and plentiful leg room for my slightly-shorter-legged self. The view of the stage was ideal: not so close that you had to crane your neck to take it all in, but close enough to witness every facial expression.
First up was Carl Hutchinson, who we soon learn is BFFs with Chris himself. A fellow Geordie, his humour is very similar to that of his bestie. I’m always sceptical of ‘support acts’, knowing that they are often newbies on the comedy scene, but Carl set the tone for the rest of the evening with his witty, engaging anecdotes and ‘down the pub’ style of delivery. One thing is for sure: I’ll never look at a bin bag in the same way again…
On to the main act himself. Ramsey entered the stage via an inflatable house – a nod to his tour’s name ‘Just To Get Out Of The House’. The 32-year-old then spent 20 minutes engaging with the audience; initially asking who was from Ipswich (a fairly loud cheer) and who was not (an even louder cheer). Once he began asking the front of the crowd where they were from, it appeared everyone was from Ipswich, prompting rounds of laughter at each opportunity. Ramsey commented on his happiness at performing in Ipswich again, having supported Al Murray in one of his previous tours.
Ramsey’s take on humour is turning day-to-day life into hilarious anecdotes. He began describing an occasion when he and his wife – singer/actress Rosie Winter – visited a solicitor to draw up their will. What would usually be a sombre topic for comedy, Ramsey turns into a laugh-a-minute subject, flitting between this running theme and tailing off into other stories along the way. He kept referring back to audience members during his set, which gave the whole show an even more personal feel.
I have seen many stand-up comedians in the past, and often feel that having a good repertoire that remains the same at each venue, they can feel a little ‘acted’. Ramsey was completely different; his material was well-rehearsed, but felt genuine, relatable and almost like we were at an intimate gathering being told hilarious stories about his life, rather than sat in a packed auditorium.
I can genuinely say I haven’t laughed as much at a comedian as I did that evening, and both my partner and I agreed we would see Ramsey again on his next tour. A great comic, in a perfect setting. Thanks to Waterfront Life and The Regent for the experience!
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