'Is That...Chris Ramsey?' Review

On the 13th April 2017, Chris Ramsey’s latest live show ‘Is That…Chris Ramsey?’ toured to the Guildhall, Portsmouth. With just half the seats being filled, I questioned why the rising star of television didn’t sell out such a small venue, especially since recently getting the chance to host his own show on Comedy Central, which is creatively named, ‘The Chris Ramsey Show’. Having watched him for years, including in shows like ‘Live at the Apollo’ and ‘Hebburn’, I expected a sell out; however, I actually enjoyed being part of a smaller and more intimate audience, and I feel as though it really helped out with the more casual feel of the show.

Accompanying Chris Ramsey was friend and fellow comedian, Carl Hutchinson, who acted as the supporting act for the evening. It feels rare to have a supporting act which complements the main act of the evening, however, the combination of Chris and Carl was perfect. Carl produced a hilarious, well-timed and relatable set, and I hope he does return to Portsmouth (although, as a vegetarian, I will throw a mushroom at his head as revenge for part of his act). I loved the way he went completely off topic yet managed to pull it back, and the way he dealt with some of the audience members who were talking through the set was wonderfully patronising, which was quick to sort them out (although this was probably also helped by Chris Ramsey calling them out from the side of the stage).

The content of his jokes were filled with relatable elements, such as guys never winning an argument however hard they try and night-time ham, and I also feel that I must say that Carl was equally hilarious when I met him in person, and I’m glad he was amused by my complete inability to spell my own name.

After a short interval, Chris Ramsey took to the stage, the inflatable, and very 90’s nostalgic style’ set surrounding him. From the second he took to the stage, he was speaking to members of the audience and quick to cause tears of laughter to stream down my face. From what I saw that night, I must say the Chris Ramsey is definitely one of the greatest when it comes to audience participation – quick, witty and ready for whatever is said. His jokes were genuinely funny, which was great to see instead of watching him rip people to shreds all evening like many other comedians do. On top of this, his improvisation, even without audience participation, was incredible, especially when the sound of chiming bells filled the theatre (which many would have just ignored).  

Framed around the idea of him being a child at heart, the show consists of Chris telling stories of his life as a husband and father, as well as talking about his fears and vulnerabilities as an adult. Written down, that concept does not sound the most exciting in the world, yet Chris’ fantastic story-telling skills, perfect timing, and infectiously excitable and energetic persona (both on and off stage), really brings the stories to life, and guarantees to have the entire audience in hysterics. I think the main reason the set was so successful, was because it was, again, relatable. Even for me, who is an unmarried twenty-year-old without a baby insight, the stories were universally hilarious and suited the entire audience as opposed to just the parents.  

Overall, it was truly refreshing to see a show which is genuinely hilarious at the comedian's own expense, as opposed to that of the audience. Filled with fantastic content and stories, Chris and Carl complement each other extremely well, and I hope to see them both touring again very soon. The evening was hilarious, and should not be missed, so for more information on tickets, click HERE.  
Let's all just ignore the state of my appearance...

As an ending note, I just want to say a massive thank you to all the staff at the Guildhall Portsmouth. Although I have encountered issues at the venue previously, everyone there was incredible that night, and the signing after the show was both well organised and well managed.


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