Dom Joly kicks off Midlands and Shropshire dates in Telford - review
He made his name by dressing as a squirrel and bouncing a football off the head of derided then-Culture Secretary, David Mellor. Which, in truth, was a perfectly good use for a football.
But there’s always been much, much more to the life of onetime hidden camera prankster and Trigger Happy TV star Dom Joly.
Yes, he’s funny. And yes, he has better taste in music than a slew of BBC Radio 6 Music DJs. But Joly is also a best-selling author and humourist whose latest show reached Telford’s Oakengates Theatre this week.
The show isn’t about Trigger Happy TV. He’s dressed up as a dog, a Chelsea pensioner and a snail on our TV screens; why recreate that on a stage? We saw it on our TVs. Besides, Joly has no need to trade in past glories. He’s pushing forward with a remarkable creative life and his new stage show, Dom Joly’s Holiday Snaps, is a masterclass.
Part-Michael Palin-esque travelogue, but with funny bits, part Dave Gorman-powerpoint, but without any hint of geekiness; Joly’s show has the intelligence of David Baddiel and the quick-wit of a stand-up.
The performer has visited more than 100 countries and the narrative for his show traces that route. From a surly kid fed up at not travelling first class to a dark tourist who has visited Chernobyl, North Korea, Iran and more; Joly’s show is simultaneously funny and fascinating.
It comes alive when he combines visual humour with wise-cracking one-liners and stunning, Billy Connolly-esque stories. There are moments that stun and delight: a sketch about frightening an Eskimo is exceptional, while his warmth and engagement with the audience illustrate endearing qualities.
The much-published Joly has long been one of Britain’s best travel writers – and with Holiday Snaps he’s reinvented himself as one of Britain’s best live performers.
Dom Joly plays Shrewsbury on March 2, Tamworth Assembly Rooms on March 15, Stourbridge Town Hall on April 8 and Birmingham Old Rep on April 9.
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