REVIEW: Carr revels in debut Blackpool sell-out

Alan Carr and Grace Larkin at Grand Theatre
Alan Carr and Grace Larkin at Grand Theatre
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For a man with supposed hip problems, Alan Carr doesn’t half clock up the laps.

OK, the Grand Theatre stage is only small but the self-confessed portly comedian pranced around, in his element, effortlessly during his near two-hour show.

It was normally followed by some joke at his own expense, one of Carr’s wonderfully down-to-earth traits that has seen him propelled into the hearts of a nation clearly hungry for harmless comedy.

And Carr delivers it by the bucketload.

On his first ever gig in the resort (“Can you believe that Blackpool?”, he exclaimed, high pitched and camp as Christmas) Carr ramped up the crowd-pleasing antics with an energetic run through of life’s joys...and frustrations.

First in his sights were the “morons” who post on Trip Advisor (“Who the hell would give Northampton five stars?”), the limited dating chances while walking his beloved Irish setter Bev and being blessed with teeth that look like “toe separators”.

While his jokes occasionally fell flat, he was at his best relying on his razor-sharp mind for off-the-cuff beauties, like comparing the softness of his stage towel to that of a Ryvita.

And recalling the time he helped save a man’s life on North Pier (“I was with Lionel Blair drinking a glass of rose on the end of the pier....that is possibly the gayest sentence you’ll ever hear.”)

Carr’s success is his ability to talk about the mundanities of life and make them sound heartwarming, like the best observational comedians.

He will always divide opinion but his selfie-loving disciples in the audience wouldn’t want him any other way.

Andy Sykes