Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Omid Djalili

15 March 2017

On Saturday we made a first visit to the Grove Theatre in Dunstable – a stunning 780-seat community theatre which opened nearly 10 years ago. We were there to see the comedian Omid Djalili. Having seen Omid interviewed by Janice Forsyth on her BBC Radio Scotland show at the Edinburgh Fringe last August and, more recently, hearing him on the Danny Baker Show on BBC Radio Five Live, we were persuaded to catch his ‘Schmuck for a Night’ national tour. Omid Djalili is a very cheerful and engaging performer. His high profile from a wide range of TV and film appearances has given him a mainstream audience for whom he is careful to touch only lightly on political issues. He makes plenty of references to Brexit and there is no doubting which side of the argument Omid favours but he only scratches the surface in his set. His performance is assured and polished, delivered with a smile, but I thought the funniest moments were the comic dancing he introduces to mock more mainstream comedy. It was a lovely surprise to discover that his support act was Boothby Graffoe – the comedian who took his stage name from a Lincolnshire village near where we used to live. We last saw him performing at the Guildhall Arts Centre in Grantham more than 20 years ago and it was great to hear his particular brand of comic songs again. Boothby Graffoe has been touring with Omid Djalili for the last eight years and it was nice to see how the support act and the main set were linked – with Omid picking up, after the interval, on some of Boothby’s ad libs from the first half of the show.

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