REVIEW: Jack Whitehall: Stood Up @ The Brighton Centre, 11/12/2019

Man standing with a microphone to his mouth
Credit: Ollie Millington

Jack Whitehall brings hilarity, theatrics and childhood dreams to The Brighton Centre

An internationally renowned comedian, Jack Whitehall is one of the most popular stand-up comics in the UK. This winter he has set out on his largest ever tour called Jack Whitehall: Stood Up. He propelled himself onto the international stage in 2018 when he made his critically-acclaimed debut as the host of The Brits. He then hosted it a second time in 2019.

Alongside his stand-up career, Jack is also an in-demand actor recently seen in Lasse Hallstrom’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, starring opposite Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman. In 2020 he’s set to appear in Disney’s Jungle Cruise opposite Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt. Jack’s successful Netflix show Travels with My Father, now in its second season, features Jack and his father Michael touring the globe. They amusingly clash over what they want to see and do on their travels. Jack’s television credits also include Decline & Fall, Fresh Meat, Bad Education (which he co-wrote), Backchat, A League of Their Own, Stand Up for the Week and Live at the Apollo.

The show opened with the room dark and a voiceover introduction from Jack’s hilarious and cynical father Michael Whitehall who appeared to be omnipresent in spirit throughout the show. An extremely dramatic and visually provocative entrance then began with The Greatest Showman theme complete with music, backing dancers, choreography and stage sparklers. It almost appeared to be a part 2 to his stage introduction of The Greatest Showman at The Brits 2019. Jack then joined the dancers, doing backflips across the stage before commencing his stand-up routine.

The show was officially underway. Jack started by talking about his dad who describes himself as a ‘national treasure’. He talked about how his dad has almost become a superstar. Americans describe their Netflix show as ‘‘about a hilarious man who travels around the world with his doofus son’’. He dwells on his childhood, explaining that he didn’t get a part in the nativity play. His parents complained and his school subsequently made up the part of an emu to accommodate him.

Next was an analogy about going to a hotel swimming pool which stated ‘do not enter the pool if you have active diarrhea’. He then proceeds to discus the fact that in order for the sign to have been put there, the incident must have previously occurred. Thus putting him off entering the pool and any other swimming pool ever again. Jack also questions the difference between active and inactive diarrhea, equipped with an amusing joke. Jack also talked about being the entertainment for Prince Charles’s Christmas show. Then distinguished the differences between Americans and British people such as how no one says ‘wahey’ when a waiter drops a glass in America compared to Brits. He also mentions that another difference is that Americans do everything bigger and better, including stupid people, possibly as a reference to Trump.

Jack talks about not being too posh and being normal, stating that he doesn’t always go to Waitrose, but instead has gone to ‘Lidle’ and even ‘Ald-I’. He mentions how their middle aisle is like shopping in the attic of a hoarder. There was a running joke of half-marathons. Also about how we care about everyone’s tolerances and intolerance, now having too many types of milk. He illustrates this with an anecdote of going to a coffee shop and being asked about which of the 12 different types of milk he wants. This is then contrasted with a quip of going to a coffee shop in the North after asking which types of milk there are, they say ‘’hot or cold’’. He ends the segment by arguing almond milk is just ‘nut juice’.

Jack talks about veganism and the trend of ‘Veganuary’ arguing we give up too much things in January. He mentions ‘dry January’ and claims ‘’January is already the most depressing month of the year’’.  He also talks about how amicable relationships are the worst, mentioning his recent break-up where he ‘’wanted to get Adele’d’’. The show ended with Jack returning to his first joke about the nativity. He received advice from none other than Andrew Lloyd Webber in a video shown to the audience while preparing for his final performance. Jack then took to the stage for a musical dance number of his version of the nativity, complete with backing dancers and costumes.

Jack Whitehall is naturally hilarious and his show is a must watch. Dates are available for his show throughout December and in January 2020 across the country.

Hameem Hasan

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