The Liverpool One Bridewell
BY LEWIS CALVERT
It was business as usual for Phil Chapman as he took to the stage to headline the first ever comedy night at the Liverpool One Bridewell.
Phil is very much at home on stage, he has performed at hundreds of these gigs over the years. He riffs through the first few minutes effortlessly, engaging the audience with quick questions and even quicker retorts. He addresses the strange American twang to his voice before moving on to more intelligent material including a great gag about Martin Luther King, which the comic can’t help but laugh at himself.
There is an honesty to Phil’s set as though he is not out to impress the crowd, although he does, but instead he is here to amuse himself. This style pays dividends with punters who laugh at almost everything he says, apart from a topical gag ridiculing racist Chelsea fans which made them slightly uneasy despite a smart pull back and reveal. However, Phil competently defuses the tension to a huge laugh of relief.
But it is the tried and tested bits where Phil excels. His set is refreshingly different – the highlight of which was a Sesame Street parody in which he takes the overused subject of “self -service checkout machines” but adds to that a handmade Elmo puppet (which gets enough laughs alone) and a wonderfully crafted nursery rhyme alluding to all the misdemeanors one can get up whilst in the supermarket. This culminates into a very funny and original piece.
Chapman seems to throw two unrelated subjects together and comes up with comedy gold regularly. The climax of the night was precisely that. A climax. A ferocious recount of into his minds-eye whilst he “relieves” himself, told through the voice of a horse racing commentator, of course. And it is this fresh energy that Phil Chapman brings to his gigs that will see him gain more and more fans over the next few years.
Is stand up comedy a dying art?