REVIEW: Stewart Lee - Content Provider, The Hawth

Stewart Lee
Stewart Lee

There are not many stand-ups I want to see live.

If there is anyone I see on TV who makes me laugh on a panel show, I can probably snap up a cheap DVD (maybe for 1p?) of them.

But there are two comedians I have always wanted to see live. One was Richard Herring and the other Stewart Lee. They were a great comedy pairing, but arguably funnier apart.

And 18 months ago I was due to see Herring at the Hawth Theatre, Crawley. But due to a late invite to a wedding the tickets had to go to a grateful recipient.

But luckily no such invite came my way for Friday, October 13 so I did not have to resent anyone and I got to enjoy Lee - one of Britain's most critically-acclaimed stand-ups.

Lee originally wanted his show Content Provider to be based around a 19th-century painting - Caspar David Friedrich's Wanderer Above The Sea of Fog - but 'then Brexit happened'.

The first half of the show at the Hawth - which Lee was keen to point out was the venue with the most unsold tickets - is mainly about Brexit and Lee enjoys directing his comedy at 'the metropolitan liberal elite' in Crawley - we voted Leave remember.

The second half starts in a very clever way (same syntax, different proper nouns) and Lee's views on David Cameron, Nigel Farage, Gary Lineker, Russell Howard, Donald Trump, East Grinstead, bendy bananas, vegetable spiralisers and the under-40s had the audience in roars of laughter.

But the real joy came when the audience did not get a joke - watching Lee point out the audiences' inadequacies is a wonderful thing.

Lee mentioned the death of Tommy Cooper and said he wouldn't mind dying like that - but not in Crawley. And he certainly didn't die on stage tonight - he left the crowd, even the Friends of the Hawth, buzzing.

See this show if you can.

You can see an interview with Stewart Lee about his Content Provider tour here