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“Let’s take this comedy bus straight to Giggle Street, people!” – a night with Stewart Francis

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‘Tour De Francis – Great Comedians Come In Cycles.’

Hugely popular stand-up comedian and occasional guest star of BBC Two show ‘Mock The Week’ ; Stewart Francis rode in to the North West this week with his latest headline tour entitled ‘Tour De Francis – Great Comedians Come In Cycles.’ Francis’s brand of deadpan comedy one-liners have earned him a huge following in the UK and have led to online calls for the Canadian to become a series regular on the hit panel show. I reviewed Francis’s show at the newly refurbished and suitably regal Parr Hall, Warrington and what a gigglefest it was.

I first caught this show back in the spring, so was delighted to discover that over the past few months Francis has been busy burrowing away, writing fresh and ever creative material which would raise the bar yet further for his contemporaries. This was a larger capacity venue than the springtime show, a testament to his surging popularity and clearly fond regard in these parts. With a crowd as tightly packed as his repertoire, Francis took to the stage to fevered applause and anticipation; the crowd surely being aware that this would probably be their only chance to see this much sought after performer in such an intimate setting.

I like my comedy light, traditional, self-deprecating and observational; I consequently find it to be a very rare occasion whereby I will discover such a talent; and indeed when I do, such a comedian has generally already rose to the pinnacle of his craft, thereby making it near impossible to catch a live show. I am talking about the likes of Peter Kay, Michael McIntyre and the late, great and my personal comedy hero, Norman Wisdom. The first two performers I mentioned share similarities of delivery with Francis, however I would say that he edges just that little bit ahead with his hilarious facial expressions and obvious comic timing perfected through his television acting work. I also think that the sign of a multi-skilled comedian is the diversity of their audience and therefore appeal. The crowd tonight ranged in age from around eighteen to seventy; it doesn’t get much more diverse than that! Don’t get me wrong, appealing to a certain demographic is no bad thing and many comedians make a very good living that way, but I like the idea of a family being able to sit together; mum, dad, big sister, little brother, nan and a scattering of grandchildren and all being able to laugh together and share the fun…again with the  traditional.

Not wanting to spoil the show by giving away all the best lines; I will say that Francis touched upon the varied subjects of childhood, family, employment, relationships and gender, each in a pun-filled extravaganza that the crowd clearly revelled in. A couple of my favourite jokes went as follows:

I was watching a programme with keen interest the other night, on kids with ridiculous names; I turned and I said to Keen Interest…

Some people call my type of comedy old-fashioned; to them I say, poppycock!

I wrote a book about a transsexual with a speech impediment. It’s called ‘Man or Myth’.

I went to France once and was served by a really ugly waitress..she gave me the crepes.

At school my teacher said if I’d just stop flirting I’d do better in class…so I hopped off his lap and skipped away…which wasn’t easy in stilettos.

When I was eleven, my Dad took me trick or treating; I remember swimming back to shore thinking, ‘Snoopy costumes weigh more when wet.’ …When I was eleven, my Dad said to me “Son, get your trunks we’re going to the library!”

Some people say that I’m weird; to them I say ‘get me my cape and pogo stick and I’ll be on my way!’

Thong designers…up their own arse aren’t they?

You know what I love? Irony. I get irony…once I slapped a homeless person so hard, my charm bracelet fell off.

There was a hilarious joke about a couple of baboons in a cockpit, involving a request for nuts and rope (“cos I’m hungry and my pants keep falling down“) and Teddy Pendergrass’s ‘Love TKO’ over the tannoyI cannot adequately describe my inability to breathe at this point; you would have to hear the piece in full for its full effect and you should! Francis mocks himself throughout his set as well; comparing his brand of comedy to perhaps more controversial and tabloid headline-grabbing acts such as Frankie Boyle, however he never strays too far in to that arena, allowing the air to remain a sufficiently paler shade of blue.

Francis said that this tour would be released as a live DVD on November 22nd, 2010 and I would thoroughly recommend that you get yourselves a copy or treat someone for Christmas. What could be better than having the family round, relaxing after a few too many turkey legs and having yourselves a few laughs. What a way to end the year, I say.

‘Tour De Francis’ continues to travel across the UK in the next couple of weeks, taking in the likes of Newcastle, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Oxford. For tickets please visit and for more information on Stewart Francis, please visit


Written by shelleyhanveywriter

November 11, 2010 at 2:06 pm

One Response

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  1. I saw him weeks ago,
    The jokes about ” I met my wife at …… ” were hilarious… !
    Very funny man !
    all the best gareth


    December 15, 2010 at 1:01 pm

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