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Review: Lee Evans at Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

One of the UK's most successful comics was on Tyneside for a gig of two halves. Keiran Southern was there

Lee Evans
Lee Evans

Lee Evans returned to the stage for the first time in three years but his Metro Arena show was, at times, more miss than hit.

Safe to say it was a gig of two halves, with a laboured opening saved, and then some by a much-improved second part.

Evans was bringing his Monster tour to Newcastle, his first since the 2011 sell out Roadrunner.

The Bristol-born comedian is now 50 years old, perhaps it was that, combined with the three-year break from the stage, which contributed to his slow start.

Jokes about glamour model Jordan - now known better as Katie Price - seemed hopelessly out of date and pointed to a man who was fighting to stay relevant.

Only Evans’s charisma and energy prevented the show from sinking at this point.

And then an excellent second half arrived.

He blitzed through the rest of the evening, with his trademark mixture of witty writing and physical exuberance delivering laugh after laugh.

Jokes about lonely old ladies who treat their dogs as husband-replacements obviously resonated got the biggest belly laugh of the night.

The gig ended with a touching tribute to his wife, perhaps compensation for his extensive use of her as a source of material.

At times, it was easy to forget that the man on stage was in his 50th year. There were, however also times when he looked every bit of his age. Taken as a whole, Evans’s whirlwind-like method of charging around the stage and his machine gun approach to delivering joke after joke made the show enjoyable.

But it is hard to ignore the fact that a large part of the evening struggled to hold attention.

Overall though, there was enough evidence on show to suggest that audiences could be still enjoying Evans for many years to come.

Keiran Southern


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