A mattress, paddling pool, blue cat and a huge inflatable sausage – just some of the ingredients that only one comedian could rustle up a fantastic show from.
Harry Hill, star of ITV’s TV Burp, made a triumphant return to the stage at Birmingham’s New Alexandra Theatre last night for his first stand-up tour in six years and showed that spending the last few years swimming in the mainstream hasn’t dulled his sense of the surreal.
The madcap, high-energy, two-hour show – featuring Harry attempting everything from singing the Tom Jones classic It’s Not Unusual in Tongan to unsuccessfully drinking an entire bucket of water (“I shouldn’t have had that other one earlier”) – proved that the doctor-turned-comedian still has what it takes to leave his audience in stitches.
And even if a couple of sections fell a little flat – his attempts to get two audience members to act out his “Fiiiiightt!” trademark featured on TV Burp didn’t quite come off – but there was always another flight of fancy right around the corner to confuse and delight the audience in equal measures.
Not surprising, then, that long before his show-stopping finale in which the eponymous sausage finally made its long-awaited appearance, he’d reassured the audience: “Don’t worry... this is not a dream.”
Harry Hill is at the New Alexandra Theatre tonight.