James Acaster’s Represent at the Lyric Theatre- through the lens of jury duty

James Acaster (C) Isabelle Adam
James Acaster (C) Isabelle Adam

Awkward comedian James Acaster finished off his Represent tour with one big gig at London’s Lyric Theatre (where Thriller normally lives- cue various show mix-up jokes) on Monday December 14.

Despite it being a sure success, at times the theatre felt slightly too vast, especially for the more bizarre jokes which didn’t hit with everyone. Interestingly, fellow comedian Nish Kumar was in the stalls and turned out to have a very distinctive and loud laugh- often cracking up Acaster, who explained the pair have the ‘exact same sense of humour’.

In an interview with Laugh Out London, James Acaster described Represent as ‘a whimsical show about doing jury duty and making your mind up by a silly boy’.

The jury duty peg was brilliant, including describing the various members of the group, including a ‘log flume hype man’ and ‘the worst man in the world’ and the ludicrous things Acaster “did” in the courtroom. This hook proved a unique way to tie various rants and ponderings together, with plenty of scope for the ridiculous.

Then there was the contemplation about the meaning of life, how the world started and the repetition of ‘but what came before that?’ over and over until, eventually, Acaster had a ‘tizz’ (read: total breakdown) which was, somehow, in equal measures hilarious and uncomfortable to watch. A brave move for a stand up show but, in my view, a genius one.

Other highlights included a discussion of a strange religious symbol, the Christingle, and the way Acaster shut down an overzealous audience member from answering every rhetorical question (of which there were many).

Unusual, interesting and challenging: Acaster is slowly raising himself to new heights and the next show will surely be one to watch closely.

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