[This post was rescued from an SQL dump of my ancient Movable Type blog. There may be conversion errors and broken links.]
On Friday evening, I went to a live performance of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue at the Royal Festival Hall on London's South Bank. There was subsequent discussion on the uknot mailing list, where I did a mini review. It appears below:
On Sat, Jun 19, 2010 at 11:01:59AM +0100, [a uknot poster] wrote:
[...] Rob Brydon != fun.
He's OK as a guest, but makes a very poor chairman. Over the years the chairmen have been Humphrey Lyttelton, Barry Cryer, Jack Dee, Stephen Fry and Rob Brydon, with Humph quite rightly being everybody's favourite.
I've dug out one of Barry's performances for a listen and it's also fairly poor, but to be honest, so were most of the other episodes from round that time. Jack's probably the best replacement we've had for Humph because he's also (playing) a misanthrope.
I'm disappointed they've decided to carry on, maybe one series to see if they could get it to work - but that should have told them no to any more, or at least a complete rethink about how to go about it.
Last night's show was actually a scripted stage performance rather than a recording for later broadcast, and it was at least 70% recycled. It was a mistake to have Rob deliver Humph's material, as Rob just doesn't have the timing and the material came out flat. I suspect most people were still hearing Humph's voice in their head, having heard the material before.
Another miscast gag was doing "Dirty Harry" in the charades round. That originally went out in the 30th anniversary special with Stephen Fry delivering the "Potter! Don't do that." line. Now Stephen had just done the Harry Potter audiobooks, so the currency meant it hit the spot quite nicely, but having Tim deliver it eight years later didn't have quite the same power.
One thing that was somewhat sad to see at the performance was that Barry was looking somewhat unsteady on his feet and I fear that he's not long for this world. He's definitely the best person left on the panel and will be missed.
Still, it was a thigh-slappingly good evening last night despite those criticisms. You can't stuff 2,000 people in a hall with 2,000 kazoos and some well-tested gags and not have them rolling in the aisles.