Review: Punt and Dennis - but what is your verdict?

Comedy prev pix 6/2/14

Comedy prev pix 6/2/14 - Credit: Archant

Trusty material and mildly ascerbic jokes

There's been something of a live revival for the former members of The Mary Whitehouse Experience.

Rob Newman played the Norwich Playhouse last year and David Baddiel is there on Wednesday, but last night it was Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis' turn to entertain Norwich at the Theatre Royal.

The two have a steady gig steering Radio 4's Now Show and Dennis has kept in the public eye in Outnumbered and as a Mock the Week regular, but the double act never quite hit the top flight – now they are midway through their first live tour in some years.

The material has a trusty ring to it: mildly ascerbic comedy you can nod along to but that rarely jerks you out of your comfort zone.

There was evergreen material on the inanity of digital TV, nannying film advice labels warning on 'mild peril', lazy builders and bad job interview technique. Sharper was a routine on the proposed Thames Estuary airport and its potential for Cockney public announcements, and a riff on Norwich's 'godless' census results that led up to a 'Swaffham and Gomorrah' gag.

Dennis' physical and vocal comedy gets all the laughs against Punt's straight man, to the extent the audience is aching for Punt to stop so we can get to a funny bit. You can't help wondering if Dennis would be better off on his own.

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