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Ivo Graham review: matted the observational and the personal in a warmly funny blend

PUBLISHED: 11:11 23 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:11 23 February 2020

Ivo Graham. Picture: Matt Stronge

Ivo Graham. Picture: Matt Stronge

Matt Stronge

Ivo Graham returned to the Norwich Playhouse last night.

Parenthood hasn't fundamentally changed Ivo Graham, but it has made him more time-efficient.

Roughly a year-on from becoming a dad, the comedian tells us he still has some of the same basic urges as his teenage self but they are now ruthlessly discharged in the couple of minutes it takes for the morning cafetière to percolate rather than through a more leisurely browsing of internet material obtained through a Google 'moderate' safe search.

Coming from "a family of zquares, although with the odd rhombus, which still has all sides the same and can be straightened up when necessary" he finds it hard to break convention.

The consequences range from delaying his girlfriend's arrival at the maternity ward by 10 minutes by letting someone out ahead of a level crossing, to an unlikely boules match against the prime minister's brother, or the indignity of a televised rap battle. All are milked for maximum comic potential, in this gently energetic show.

There were also several throwbacks to Graham's last gig at the Norwich Playhouse in 2019, which was largely derailed by an audience-driven obsession with Acle.

This time he ventured further down the A47 to Bradwell, ending with a promise to exclusively promote his next show with a quarter page ad in parish newsletter The Bradwellian. With Graham, you get the feeling that might just happen.

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This was a sweetly pitched and very enjoyable show, that matted the observational and the personal in a warmly funny blend. I'll be looking out for that advert.


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