Review: Ricky Gervais at Ipswich Regent

IT must be great to get to that stage when you're so mega famous that you can call a show whatever you want and then talk about, well, whatever you want.

Jonathan Schofield

Ricky Gervais, Science Tour, Regent Theatre, Ipswich

IT must be great to get to that stage when you're so mega famous that you can call a show whatever you want and then talk about, well, whatever you want.

Because that's just what Ricky Gervais did on the opening night of the Ipswich leg of his Science tour at the Regent Theatre last night.

Science - apart from the Frankenstein's lab stage set - there was no science, barely a reference to it.

But there were a lot of jokes about fat women and retarded women.

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Now come to think about it - it was funny, in fact it seems funnier now than it did a few hours ago.

And to be fair he did bring in some rudimentary science at this point with the line that when he sees a fat woman he sees a woman that has consumed more calories than she's burnt off - and that, he told the audience, was a fact.

From Ken Dodd still performing the same mannerisms on stage at the age of 73 we were whisked to the hydrogen bomb and the destruction of Hiroshima.

I know what you're thinking - is there humour there?

Not a great deal, but to Gervais it was his way of proving that science “for better or worse finds things out”.

As he said, did the science behind splitting the atom and unleashing the most terrible power on a Japanese city have the desired affect? Well clearly it did, the science worked. It was man that decided to use it for its terrible potential.

And that's the thing about Gervais, were we listening to a lecture or a comedy set? There wasn't a great deal of belly-aching laughter, but there was the continual undercurrent of constant happiness from the audience.

He has that brilliant ability to retain his liberal persona, but undercut it with shocking, and yes funny, paedophile jokes about a father and daughter, and some of the funniest and most thought-provoking jokes on gay marriage.

God didn't get off too lightly - or, more to the point, the Old Testament.

After telling us that there were up to six million animal species in the world - you see I said there was a bit of science - he led the audience through an hilarious reading of Noah's Ark and the possibility that a few men having a fight was probably not justification for any God to drown every being on the planet bar the few that went on two by two.

He is a comic genius, well that's what he told everyone when he arrived on stage. Just as we now know he pays �8,000 to fly first-class to America, which as he said we wouldn't expect him to do anything less.

But, like Ken Dodd, will he still be performing at the age of 73?

On this evidence probably not - not without a tickling stick anyway.

- Ricky Gervais, it was announced yesterday, will host the 67th annual Golden Globe Awards on January 17 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Jonathan Schofield

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