REVIEW: Sean Hughes at Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham

Youngsters queue at the Kings to audition for a previous production, Cinderella

Panto auditions for young dancers to be held at Kings Theatre

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It’s been a while since I have seen Sean. Not round my house, obviously, just on the telly.

Since leaving Never Mind the Buzzcocks in 2002 he’s been on the small screen irregularly and, as a result, is not quite the household name he once was.

His self-deprecating delivery drew us in and occasionally hit us with a sucker punch, like the poem about the death of his father

This is not just a shame. It, on the evidence of this show, is a travesty. Imagine a comic offering the social commentary of Stewart Lee combined with the whimsy of Eddie Izzard and the incisiveness of Frankie Boyle. That’s Sean Hughes.

The Crystal Palace fan’s show is very much an act of two halves deftly combining stand-up with music and poetry.

Sean likes to find a foil in the audience and the front row pair of Alan and Paul proved excellent choices. After slowly finding his feet Sean won the crowd over.

His self-deprecating delivery drew us in and occasionally hit us with a sucker punch, like the poem about the death of his father which was both poignant and moving.

It was the comedy we came for, though, and Sean provided plenty of laughs. I found much common ground and the Ashcroft’s intimacy meant that the gig felt more like a chat in a bar with a mate at times. I almost wanted to interject, such was the connection between performer and audience.