Michael McIntyre

Norwich Playhouse

Norwich Playhouse

Hitherto, I have remained unconvinced by Michael McIntyre.

The grating, slightly self-satisfied air he has exhibited on seemingly every panel show going seems more characteristic of a rookie television presenter than one of the country's most hotly-tipped young stand-ups.

Still, you can't argue with the box office - a full house greeted the comedian's eventual, delayed arrival on stage last night (stuck in traffic, apparently).

Easy-going, semi-improvised banter with the audience punctuated by gentle, observational riffs on the absurdities of everyday life is McIntyre's stock-in-trade.

So after a fairly predictable routine about East Anglia's pesky tractors, we get some onstage tomfoolery involving a couple of identical twins in the front row, followed by musings on restaurant etiquette, puberty and the funny things children say.

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With his boyish, fluffy hair and hyperactive demeanour, McIntyre keeps everything bustling along nicely, and at times resembles a hybrid of Ronnie Corbett and Mr Toad.

But all too often the patiently-awaited killer line never appears, and routines dissolve into one another with well-drilled but unexciting efficiency.

For belly laughs, go and see Ross Noble or Milton Jones.

But if you're looking for a restrained evening of stand-up that wouldn't have looked out of place in the light entertainment world of yesteryear, Michael McIntyre's your man.

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