Mark Little, Norwich

Another big crowd flocked to the Theatre Royal to follow Britain's favourite comic Brit (Jack Dee) with Britain's favourite comic Aussie.

By JOHN LAWSON

Another big crowd flocked to the Theatre Royal to follow Britain's favourite comic Brit (Jack Dee) with Britain's favourite comic Aussie.

And, taking a leaf out of cuddly Jack's book, here was another show that your grandma could barely complain about – proving, thank heavens, that you don't have to swear like a trooper for two hours to make people laugh.

Mark Little is just so damn personable that you can't help but warm to him, even when some of his material sailed somewhat wide of its Ashes-winning comedy wicket.


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He's a deep-thinking bloke, this guy, with a clearly defined idea of right, wrong and a social conscience – but from this somewhat political base some of the comedy concepts he tried to introduce sailed over the fielder's head to silly mid-off.

The mistake, I felt, was in trying to produce a narrative thread through the performance linking his ancestry amid the transported convicts of the 19th century to the present day.

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There were points where he lost his audience amid the jumble of themes.

But equally there were some great and original moments too.

His DIY Australia – 26 bricks, a couple of lights and a smoke machine for a barbie (“funny how it still takes five guys to light it”) alongside pictures of his beloved outback.

The idea that the way Aussies claimed land from the Aborigines was to cut the grass with a lawnmower.

And how theatres rely on the dark to create atmosphere (“doesn't this stage look rubbish with the house lights up?”)

Mark smiled, Mark laughed, we all joined in.

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