Chris McCausland live at Huntingdon Hall, Worcester, 14th May 2022
The physical clown Norman Wisdom would make himself small and vulnerable before hesitantly and reluctantly walking out on to the stage; thus winning over the audience before his tomfoolery started. The comedian Chris McCausland, who is VI, employs a similar approach. His introduction off stage invariably acknowledges how tricky the stairs, stage and obstacles are that hinder his progress and Huntingdon Hall did not let him down, the comic even had to sidestep a supporting post. Moreover, before McCausland is led to centre stage his audience is laughing and applauding…and no one is smiling more than McCausland himself.
The salient premise of McCausland’s condition might be at the centre of his show but it does not define the performance. The anecdotes are gentle and amusing, the humour of the everyday: word pictures about technology failing, the “PM” sounding like a posh lawn mower and walking into the unknown bird table with the aid of his young daughter. At times his affable approach as he sat on his chair was reminiscent of Dave Allen’s understatedstyle. McCausland certainlyknows how to regale with an anecdote and he didn’t lose his way once in the performance. Impressive.
Impressively, the comedian did not shy away from the sobering details of being blind. Not just content to laugh at himself but also keen to educate his audience. Bill Hicks never shied away from making his point on stage; McCausland is a little more amiable in his approach. I didn’t know the ever-present smiley face emoji on my phone is called “smiley face with normal eyes” – did you? – as McCausland confirmed: “a little insensitive.”
The only time Scouser McCausland allowed serious sentiment to rise to the surface was during the confession where he declared he would love to see his 6 yr old daughter for the first time. However, he quickly moved on to admitting his second choice was his wife…or Mo Salah.
Like Sean Hughes, McCausland knows the nonsense of life can be channelled into humour. The skit about the Bull and Daisy the cow, focusing on the male the fixation with milk-heavy breasts, would be lost in the hands of another comic- he milked the routine for all its worth.
Worthy of note is the fact Chris McCausland attended the local New College Worcester, for Vi students. A number of current students have experienced the comic live and they were charmed by the comic – much like the audience tonight. I remember when individuals who were defined by their impairments or disabilities were “hidden away.” The Show was written to be life affirming, a celebration and in conclusion this was undeniable as we sauntered out to Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.
I may have employed various comparisons with other comedians to prove my point but Chris McCausland is indeed a daft exponent of the art form known as stand-up…in his own right!
By: The Swilgate Scuttler