Preview: Joe Lycett at Epstein Theatre, Liverpool

By Alan Parry
Fri 09 February, 2018

The comedian heads comes to both Liverpool and Southport soon, and Alan Parry can’t wait.

The fantastic Joe Lycett brings his new show to Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre on Saturday 24th March, before returning to Merseyside in the autumn for a gig in sunny Southport at the Theatre and Floral Hall on Friday 28th September.

We’re pretty certain he’ll be warmly welcomed all around the country such is his incredible, likeable demeanour. But, surely the people of Sefton in particular will hold a special place in their hearts for him, after his row over a parking ticket, which he won, went viral.

It’s not a much loved profession anywhere but the people of Southport in particular hold a very real dislike for Parking Enforcement Officers, and I should know as I used to be one.

And complaining, and/or disputing is what Lycett does best. Indeed, many such tales are recited in his book Parsnips, Buttered. He wastes people’s time, plagues them with emails and takes them to task when they allow systems and processes to get in the way of sensible human decision making. By doing so, he highlights the flaws in the modern world particularly in the service sector, and all for the sport of it, as much as to make any real difference for you and me.

He collates his evidence, and presents it, in what is perhaps a linear progression from Jasper Carrott’s insurance claims, to David Baddiel’s death records, right through to Dave Gorman’s PowerPoint presentations. And to top all of this, there is a clear influence in his performance from the likes of Frankie Howerd and David Walliams. But, he is no rip off, no poor man’s version of anybody. Picasso is reported to have said ‘Good artists copy, great artists steal’, and Lycett is better than good.

He has a string of television and radio appearances to his name. You may know him from his work on Radio 4’s Just a Minute, or Channel 4’s 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown among others. These appearances serve as a credit to increases in diversity and representation on our favourite shows, and Lycett proudly flies that flag. He openly talks about his sexuality on stage and is a champion of LGBT rights, and although this informs his material it does not define him completely.

Lycett is sure to be touring, and lighting up all of our favourite TV and radio programmes for many years to come yet, and we cherish that thought.