Timeless comedy from I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue at Wolverhampton Grand - review
There's something wonderful about a show which gives you a free kazoo before proceedings have even started.
It's even better when you get to play it as part of 'Karaoke-Cokey' to the panel alongside more than 1,000 other people.
That's just part of the charm of the antidote to panel games, I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, a British comedy institution for nearly 50 years.
The BBC Radio 4 show came to the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre on Monday as part of its national tour, presenting a best-of version of the show.
This meant a chance to enjoy a playing of all the classic games and see the experts of the games in full comedic flow.
With Jack Dee acting as chairman and a panel of John Finnemore, Marcus Brigstocke and team captains Tony Hawks and show original Tim Brooke-Taylor, you knew what was coming and that you'd not stop laughing until the end.
Jack Dee got the crowd laughing straight away, poking fun at Wolverhampton landmarks and historical figures like the university, the train station and Viagra.
The games then began which, while silly, nonsensical, childish and more than a little pointless they may be, you still find yourself getting lost in the genius of the playing of them.
One song to the tune of another gave us the delights of Tim Brooke-Taylor singing Girlfriend In A Coma by the Smiths to Tiptoe Through The Tulips, while Tony Hawks and Marcus Brigstocke provided an hilarious Censored Songs version of Favourite Things by Julie Andrews.
Old favourites such as Complete Quotes and Waiters mixed with In my pants, a game that saw Jack Dee reply to film titles with the answer 'in my pants', without laughing.
John Finnemore also made a mark during Pick-up song, when he sang virtually every area of Wolverhampton to I've Been Everywhere by Johnny Cash.
There was a hotly-contested playing of Mornington Crescent, a game which cannot be explained, has arbitrary rules that cover the offside rule and followed Montague's Loop on this playing.
Jack Dee kept everything together with his usual sense of bored detachment, echoing the previous chairmanship of the late, great Humphrey Littleton, and frequently left the audience roaring with laughter at his explanations of where the scorer Samantha was.
The audience participation section proved the most chaotic, yet most fun part of the evening, with the panel trying to work out the 1,000-kazoo renditions of songs like Imagine and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
The show has built up a very loyal and dedicated fan base since the first show in 1972 and this evening paid that back as a final round of Swanee-Kazoo let the audience join in with Tony Hawks and Marcus Brigstocke on kazoo alongside Tim Brooke-Taylor and John Finnemore on Swanee Whistle.
Add the expert piano playing of show stalwart Colin Sell and the magnificent laser display board for games like sound charades and you've had a night of fantastic entertainment.
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