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Greg Davies, Birmingham Symphony Hall - review

By Rebecca Stanley | Entertainment | Published:

As part of Birmingham Comedy Festival, Shropshire funny man Greg Davies has brought his brand new tour You Magnificent Beast to Birmingham's Symphony Hall for two nights.

Greg Davies

Kicking off the night was comedian, actor and writer Barry Castagnola - taking to the stage in skinny jeans and a short, skin-tight jumper that would make more sense later in his set.

"When I started my career my agent asked me where I wanted to see myself, I said I'd know I'd made it when I played Birmingham's Symphony Hall to a crowd who were annoyed because they didn't realise there was a support act" Barry joked, before launching into a comical set covering everything from being chubby, the downsides of dating after divorce, the juxtaposition of his first and last names and how his new tumble dryer had shrunk all of his clothes in the wash - explaining his tiny jumper.

"There's a reason I can't lose weight, Greg Davies is paying me in cheese. I understand though, he's from Shropshire, they don't really have a currency" Barry joked, to erupting laughter from the crowd.

If any audience members were annoyed that there was a support act, they were not by the end of his twenty minute set as he had the audience roaring with laughter impersonating himself on hallucinogenic drugs at a Lionel Richie concert - complete with erratic dance moves and contorted facial expressions.

The opening verse to R Kelly's Ignition blared from the speakers and the magnificent beast himself Greg Davies danced onto the stage.

"Now I must warn you - if you've come to this show because you like The Inbetweeners or Man Down you'll be okay, if you've come to this show because you like Taskmaster you may not like it, if you've come to this show because you like Cuckoo then you need to leave" Greg started - and he was right to do so as no topic seemed to be out of bounds as he joked about his past sexual experiences, doctors and the seriously ill without batting an eyelid.

Greg, who was born in Denbighshire, but grew up in Wem - oozes comedy every moment he is on stage. He only had to raise an eyebrow in a certain way or pause a little too long after a joke and the audience were rolling around the floor in laughter with tears streaming down their faces.

Something people who have seen Greg Davies multiple times have come to know, is that his shows focus heavily around the hilarious things his lovable mother and father say to each other. His new show encountered a few problems early on however - his mother had asked him not to joke about her anymore.

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Of course this didn't stop him, even with his mother right there in the Symphony Hall, as he launched into childhood stories with hilarious effect. From making him a terrifying five foot teddy bear to his mother talking about sex aids over lunch - Greg broke his promise that he would not tarnish his mother's reputation any further, although he did feature a text from the woman herself to show it was all bizarrely factual.

You Magnificent Beast is a show that was originally intended to focus on how we as humans are magnificent - a sentiment that was ruined by Greg's own mother who pointed out that he is, in fact, not a magnificent beast.

The show then focused on everything from him realising he was middle aged and questioning what he had done with his life, to him pondering if any of his previous lovers still remembered him, whether he was a great teacher or not and how he would live up to his deceased father.

The show hit the perfect blend of heart-warming and relatable anecdotes executed with Greg's infectious style of scathing comedy - You Magnificent Beast is both endearing and shocking at the same time, and not one person left the Symphony Halls without their cheeks aching.

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Motivational quotes from famous figures were weaved throughout the show to introduce new topics, as well as real-life quotes from people in Greg's own life - the juxtaposition of which only made his points about us not being magnificent all the more hilarious as they showcased all the weird, wonderful and down-right stupid things us humans say.

Greg ended the show talking about the loss of his dear father, with a tribute based on a touching story of him teaching Greg a traditional Welsh folk song - one Greg later found out, was a vulgar poem about sex and animals on a farm.

He hired a Welsh choir to sing the song and filmed it for the audience to view with karaoke sing-along lyrics played alongside - something he said summed his father up better than any eulogy could.

Touching, thought-provoking and hilarious all rolled into one - Greg Davies' You Magnificent Beast pokes fun at all the self-doubt over life's milestones we encounter, and does so in Greg's expert comic stylings.

Greg Davies plays Birmingham's Symphony Hall tonight. For more information and tickets visit: www.thsh.co.uk/event/greg-davies-you-magnificent-beast

Birmingham Comedy Festival runs from October 6 to 15. For more information and tickets visit: www.bhamcomfest.co.uk

Rebecca Stanley

By Rebecca Stanley
@becci_native

Entertainment journalist for Native Monster, Express & Star & Shropshire Star. Contact me: rebecca.stanley@nativemonster.co.uk

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