Tom Stade – Huntingdon Hall, Worcester – 17th September 2021
Why, at a certain age, does it feel like everything is a chore? The energy required at the end of a working day to ensure you attend a night of entertainment seems disproportionate to the end result but every now and then it really is worthwhile…
Without dry ice, without a light show but with a swagger befitting an all-conquering Caesar, our “comedy rock god” as he ironically calls himself Tom Stade… took to the stage! As he took to the stage his introduction was met with rapturous approval; as he introduced his new show, in his instantly recognisable drunken Canadian drawl with the universal truth: “Evening Worcesterereshyre, it’s good to be baaaack even if we have to staaaart at 7:30 because everyone is soooo old and tired.” The opening line reflecting the focus of his new show, the undeniable fact we are all growing up and old. Although, Stade turns this into a cause for celebration because the show is entitled: “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”.
The effective technique of selecting couples and individuals in the audience to represent certain ages was effective as the device allowed for the show to be structured around Kieran in his 20s, Adrian and Lesley in their 50s and Rob in his 60s as Stade used their input to help narrate his viewpoints on growing up. So Kieran, “still play sports?” “Yes.” “For money?” “No.” “Then you must be shit, just like my son!” The comedic comments met with rising natural uncanned laughter.
Furthermore, Stade cannily focused on the rich seam of British life to feed the need for laughter. Those of us in the know appreciate the requirement of a toilet in close vicinity – at all times – this necessity was lampooned by the comedian. He zoomed in on the wealth of service stations in the country, as you “go into negotiations with your arsehole, whilst on the motorway”. Warming to his subject, unlike our “PM” obfuscating and waffling about our society at a press call (when he turns up), Stade rejoiced in our service stations declaring they serve all the main food groups… “KFC…McDonalds…W.H.Smiths…where you can buy a meal deal.” His use of a faux-innocent enquiring tone at times really adds to the timing of the punchline.
The rabbit punch of some of the show’s content was at times dark and bleak – way beyond gallows humour. And the inclusion of the M. Jackson paedophilia routine was I guess too much for a couple, in dapper evening wear and in the late autumn of their lives. Indeed, the exit seemed to throw Stade momentarily. Perhaps our comedy rock god has a conscience after all?
Ultimately, the job of the comic is, after all, to amuse and entertain and I believe to enable the audience to think. Moreover, Tom Stade’s use of inference certainly requires his audience to think and think quickly; before the lightning bolt of thunderous laughter lights up the room.
Perhaps I am over analysing the art form and should just allow a voice in the Huntingdon Hall darkness to speak for us all, a point echoed by my partner as we made our meandering way back to the car,hindered by my gout: “My jaw is aching from laughing so much.”
By: The Swilgate Scuttler