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Arthur Smith: Lichfield Garrick Theatre - Review

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
Event:
Alternative Comic Reveals Further Talents In Stand-Up Show
There is so much more to comedian Arthur Smith than meets the eye. He is undoubtedly best known as the guest star of television shows such as Grumpy OId Men, Ql and Have I Got News For You, as well as BBC Radio 4 shows Loose Ends and Balham Bash.

But the loveable so-called alternative comic and writer has a lot more strings of talent to his bow, as he demonstrated during his new stand-up show, At Your Service, which came to the Lichfield Garrick theatre's main stage on Friday 25 March.

Arthur Smith
Comedian Arthur Smith was in splendid form during his Lichfield stand-up show


Arthur, the happily down-to-earth Londoner, certainly lived up to his description as one of the UK's funniest and most original comic performers. But he also demonstrated his abilities as a poet and singer, while also reminding his audience of his writing skills by reading extracts from his autobiography, delightfully titled as My Name Is Daphne Fairfax.

Mr Smith, who was anxious throughout to identify the 'cheesy' smell he detected in Lichfield (it seemed more like fertiliser than fromage), was in relaxed, comfortable mode from the start. He announced himself as the award-winning comedian, before revealing the award was for swimming, and then apologised if anyone had booked tickets thinking they were coming to see heavy metal band Aerosmith.

Arthur Smith
Arthur Smith was 'At Your Service' in his latest show


The evening of hilarity and mirth continued throughout with the help of 'proper' jokes of all descriptions and anecdotes about people ranging from Shakespeare to 'Mad' Frankie Fraser. He also revealed that he had turned down an invitation to be on TV's Celebrity Come Dine With Me, likening the prospect to a particularly gruesome instrument of torture he was examining at the time in the Spanish Inquisition Museum.

His poetic interludes included a humorous version of Kipling's famous "If", while he revealed a talent I hadn't been aware of by delivering a more than passable impersonation of Canadian folk singer Leonard Cohen. But the overriding theme throughout was grumpiness, with Arthur inviting members of the audience to say what makes them grumpy while also giving several examples himself.

Lichfield Garrick
The main stage at Lichfield Garrick


His own examples ranged from enthusiasm and people who go on skiing holidays to Americans, although he hadn't bargained on an Alaskan woman in the audience who clearly proved an interesting and entertaining distraction.
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Why? Supremely Talented Comedian In Great Stand-Up Form
When: 25 March 2016
Phone: 01543 412121
Where: Lichfield Garrick, Castle Dyke, Lichfield WS13 6HR
Cost: 17
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