REVIEW: Michael McIntyre, Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

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THE last time I saw Michael McIntyre live he was frolicking and hair-flicking his way around the Sunderland Empire stage in his trademark fashion as part of his roadshow TV show.

I’m always a bit dubious about comedy turns in huge, cavernous arenas after seeing acts such as Al Murray fail to fill the space with laughter.

Michael McIntyre, however, encountered no such problems.

Admittedly, the first half of the show lacked the panache and personality of the second half, but it was still a rib-tickling celebration of the minutiae of modern life. McIntyre launched his way into the show with affectionate jibes at the Geordie Shore brigade: man cleavage T-shirts, mahogany women et al.

Bradley Wiggins’s recent brush with the pavement after being knocked off his bike by a driver also led to a nice segue into a sketch on the Olympics.

Though funny enough, they’re the kinds of current affair topics you expect comics to touch upon and it ended up being the comedian’s personal experiences which proved the most hilarious.

How someone can make tea and coffee facilities in a hotel quite so funny is a skill indeed – this was instantly-relatable comedy at its best.

After a half-hour break, the second half of the show seemed to run a lot more smoothly, especially after the main man admitted that, for the first time in 1,000 shows, he had started a story and forgotten the punch line.

For the record it was a brief tale of meeting a man in a hotel over breakfast which came to an abrupt ending – “and then we became friends.”

It had seemed oddly mundane at the time, but McIntyre being innately funny, I had giggled anyway.

With that confession off his shoulders, his account of entertaining his kids during the holidays by colouring in Where’s Wally seemed more frank and more funny than the evening’s earlier material.

A horrific trip to his dentist was also deliciously gory and one which had my friend and I nursing our sides – a perfect piece of comic storytelling.

Katy Wheeler