Photo of Rhys James

Rhys James: Spilt Milk, Huntingdon Hall, Worcester, 26th October 2023

The obvious joke of the comedian Rhys James having the same name as a famous Chelsea football player was a classic diamond shape of an intro. Not even VAR would disallow this goal-hanger’s delight. From the opening whistle the evening did not disappoint…

The fresh-faced comic looks nothing like his 32 years on this planet. His boyish looks are used to great effect as this cheeky chap can get away with anything. There are not many who can break the accepted law of not mocking your own audience but James is not afraid to ridicule those who have paid to watch. Let’s be clear, he knew they were on side before he even walked out on stage – he’s been on TV of course – and he knew what he could push the limits, with the rejoinder: “Oh, and thanks for coming!”

“When I walked out on stage I noticed your ages, I knew you would all be wearing crocs.” The laughter started here…

Like many comedians’ approach, tonight’s show contained much “faux rage”. At the current plight of society there is much to rage about. James of course has his own moments to vent his spleen. Nobody saw the intimidation felt by the sexual prowess of a pair of foxes in his garden inspiring one of his comedic narratives. James is just as content to hold up his own ineptitude for comedic scrutiny.

“I know I look like a dweeb.”

The story about James being burgled when he was in the house was designed to show himself up. The punchline proved without any doubt he is aware of his place in the world. The final line was a masterclass in timing and precise use of language. He did not have to explain the final line to anyone. Own goals in James routines are more than welcome. The laughter was enough…

“Honestly, the audience in Coventry were as thick as shit.” – “Oh, and thanks for coming.”

The evening may have included some open goals. However, his obvious comedy intelligence set up the joke of the evening for me. The routine worked around the realisation his career could end, alarmingly, and he could find himself on Britain’s Got Talent …the use of Diversity’s name had nothing to do with a dance routine. The guffawing from the pews was knowing and all pervasive as crocs.

Yes, the result may have been determined before kick-off. Moreover, the highlights would have filled a whole episode of MotD. Furthermore, thanks to Huntingdon Hall, for once again, securing another Premier league comedian for EFL Championship prices!

By: The Swilgate Scuttler

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