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Both witty and wise: Simon Amsell’s What Is This? Review

PUBLISHED: 08:30 15 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:14 15 October 2017

Simon Amstell. performed at the Norwich Play House.

Simon Amstell. performed at the Norwich Play House.

Both witty and wise, Simon Amstell’s What Is This?, performed at The Playhouse, Norwich, on Saturday, October 14.

The two sold-out shows promised Amstell’s trademark self depreciation, but having now found happiness there was question over how his comedy - which has often drawn on unhappiness - would work.

It did, but it left the audience at times not knowing if they were allowed to laugh.

Touching on sex, his homosexuality, and relationships with his family, Amstell was both relatable and ridiculous. But only ridiculous in the same way he said all of life was, prompting the question “what is this?” - this being life. This point was well made when looking back at his depression. Previously he had not been able to get out of bed. Now, he said: “I get out of bed, but I don’t know why I’ve done it.”

Not only did Amstell manage to give a real snapshot into the intimacy he’d let into his life, he also shared an intimacy with the audience which allowed them to laugh with him - when previously it seemed he was not in on the joke.

Four stars

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