“A story full of Northern warmth, some working-class guilt and a bit of blue”, that’s what it says in the programme. Sounds like old-fashioned gentle sort of stand-up, like Les Dawson maybe, doesn’t it?
The way the evening unfolds, though, is a little unexpected. The first unexpected thing is that almost the entire audience turns out to be a huge family Stag and Hen do, already tipsy and shrieking with laughter even before the show has started.
And Stephen turns out to be a potty-mouthed, camp as Butlin’s, affable young gay man – whose entire schtick consists of talking graphically about gay sex, and ribbing members of the audience.
So tonight’s audience is something of a marriage made in heaven for him. They howl with laughter at his every mention of penises or names of audience members – which is every few seconds – or even if he just arches an eyebrow.
For them he can do no wrong; and they like to make shouted-out contributions of their own, which they also find hilarious.
Why they chose this venue to celebrate the happy couple, who don’t live here, and aren’t getting married here, remains a mystery. But clearly they and Stephen, who by the end is pretty much an honorary family member, are all having a wonderful time.
Whether this constitutes an enjoyable spectator sport for those who aren’t members of the family, I leave you to judge.
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Reviewer: John Christopher Wood | Star rating: ***
Stephen Bailey: Our Kid was performed at the Rondo Theatre in Bath on Friday 1st March 2019.