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Page last updated at 11:02 GMT, Monday, 11 October 2010 12:02 UK
Review: Frankie Boyle at Ipswich Regent, October 2010

Frankie Boyle
Frankie Boyle sold out his two dates at the Ipswich Regent

Comedian Frankie Boyle was quick to sell out his two dates at the Ipswich Regent on 8-9 October 2010.

But could the former Mock The Week star's stand up show live up to the hype?

We had a reviewer there on both nights.

By Jeff Allum

This was a rare - and possibly final visit to Ipswich, as Scotland's Frankie Boyle has vowed to cease stand-up comedy by the time he reaches the age of 40 during the next year.

Before the gig, I had a pretty good idea of the kind of night I was in for. Boyle's aggressive performances are infamous, and when the tour is titled I Would Happily Punch Every One Of You In The Face, it's not going to be an evening of back-slapping compliments.

First target was an unfortunate heckler from Norwich, and the anti-Norfolk returns from Boyle didn't do any harm with his relationship with the audience.

Less successful I felt, were the attempts to interact with the front-row theatregoers.

Limiting the questions to them to "what's your story, pal?" and "what do you do?" gave little scope for comic effect, and Boyle was only able to either return irrelevant insults implying sordid sexual history for the victim, or to a student, a cliched answer referring to her university and course as 'not being proper'.

For someone who comes across as sharp-witted on TV, this was disappointing.

Boyle found greater success in the script of his main stand-up routine. The numerous poor-taste references covered in the press were performed, mainly to laughter and sometimes the odd cringe, which I certainly felt at some points.

Having said that, this isn't a family show and the converted were certainly preached to.

The crude metaphors displayed were carefully thought out, however I found in many cases that humour had been sacrificed for shock value.

Boyle has excellent delivery and timing, so I feel there is scope to continue his stand-up performances if he reneges on his self-imposed ban on his next birthday, but with more of the comedy and less of the will to offend.

After an hour, Frankie Boyle departed the stage, sadly unable to produce the big finish of a strong joke.

A reasonable night's entertainment, however many of his peers produce better comedy.

Frankie Boyle
Jokes about Jade Goody were a "little cheap" says our reviewer


By Jonathan Parramint

Frankie Boyle seems to take complete pleasure in shocking his audiences; many of his jokes are received with an intake of breath before any laughter can be heard.

Whilst I'm aware that you don't go and see Frankie and expect tasteful humour, even I found jokes relating to Jade Goody's cancer battle a little cheap.

However, it seemed I was in the minority. The audience hang on Frankie's every harsh word, while those in the front rows try not to draw attention to themselves through fear of being picked on, as I was by warm-up comedian Craig Campbell upon my slightly late entrance into the auditorium.

Frankie has made many TV appearances over the past five years, resulting in him reusing much of his material, therefore I wasn't surprised to hear the odd joke or remark that I'd heard before.

However, on the whole, it appears that any audience seeing Frankie live today will benefit from his decision to leave Mock The Week, as the material was mostly fresh.

A slight sound problem halted proceedings briefly. It came at a bad time, just as Frankie was about to deliver the punchline to a joke.

After a few minutes and a few choice words directed at the sound man, Frankie continued, taking the hitch in his stride, although it was interesting to see him under a bit of pressure for a few moments.

I came away from the show feeling intrigued as to what Frankie Boyle is like away from an audience, away from a stage.

I wondered whether TV's Frankie Boyle is merely a character, and deep down there is a nicer, more content Frankie Boyle who would rush back to London after the show to be with his family.

When I watch a comedian, I like to leave the performance having gained a little bit of knowledge about the man behind the comedy, but you don't get this with Frankie, he's not that type of comedian.

He makes only brief references to his two young children and long term girlfriend, but they act as comedy devices leading to the all important punchline.

It's not the finest performance I've experienced from a comedian. There were very few clever, well observed moments, but Frankie's show does what it says on the tin.

He's rude, crude and often a long way past the mark, just what the people want from him. Just what he always delivers.

This review was a voluntary contribution to BBC Suffolk by a website-user. If you'd like to review a gig or production for us, email suffolk@bbc.co.uk

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