Chris Addison: The Time is Now, Again
Chris Addison has a face many will be familiar with due to his ongoing stint as a panellist on current affairs comedy show Mock the Week, and his partnership with Alexander Armstrong on the Best Direct Line car insurance adverts. The latter has perhaps overshadowed his involvement in Armando Iannucci’s hit TV satires The Thick of It and In the Loop.
Having made his name on the stand-up circuit, Addison returns to what he loves best in the Elizabeth Hall at The Southbank Centre, showcasing his tour The Time is Now, Again – aptly named, having already been extended twice since its opening.
From the beginning the comic wastes no time ripping into the facets of society which annoy him the most. The Conservatives are first on the hit-list, however he doesn’t forget to have a pop at the opposition parties either. Addison does take a few risks: announcing he is a republican and dislikes the monarchy, he goes on to controversially state the Royal Family would only be relevant if Prince Philip was in charge – he claims he is his favourite.
Still, some of the material is scraping the barrel and slightly unoriginal. Addison goes on an anti-media rant against certain newspaper publications before watering it down with his apprehension about the validity of science and believing what one is told. This particular tirade transforms into stereotypical impressions of the Chinese and a camp German, which could be viewed as needlessly offensive, but nonetheless shows the audience Addison’s personal humour.
To his credit, the comedian bounces around the stage like a fidgety child, sometimes losing his train of thought and going on tangents – all having the effect of making his stand-up seem less rehearsed and more conversational. The physical depictions in his storytelling evoke shades of Rowan Atkinson’s character Mr Bean, a comparison that must be a welcome one. Addison knew his crowd and the tenor of the venue, teasing with middle class references and put-downs that were well received. It could be said his content is rather familiar and not particularly unique, but it did the job intended: it created laughter.