Review – Jeremy Hardy, Royal, Northampton, 27th January 2012

Jeremy HardyHere’s another famous name on the comedy circuit with whom Mrs C and I were fairly unfamiliar, apart from occasionally catching on the odd radio programme. I thought he would be dry and wry but I wasn’t sure what else to expect. I wasn’t expecting over two hours of self-assured, intelligent, observant left-wing comedy, which was a constantly refreshing joy.

Mr Hardy appears modest and slightly undynamic in appearance – he’s wearing a top not a cardy, because he says a cardy would make him look like Rigsby out of Rising Damp – but it’s a mask for a razor sharp wit and an agreeable sense of justice which is the root of much of his comic observations. He moves swiftly from subject to subject without politics ever going too far off the horizon. Here’s a good impression of his approach to politics: everyone hates Cameron but at least he’s honest that he’s a bastard, but everyone doubly hates Clegg because he’s a bastard’s bitch; and Cable is the reasonable image of the LibDems because he oppresses the poor in their own accent. Jeremy Hardy shares a disappointment that life isn’t as good as it should be, and points out all the rotten aspects of life where, really, humanity should try harder. His observations really hit the target.

It’s all absolutely effortless though, or at least it seems to be, so you have a very warm and comfy feeling of being gently led past all the dreadful aspects of society by this kind and caring guide, pointing out all the pitfalls that might accidentally lead you into despair were you to go down that path. At the end of this “comedy therapy”, you feel refreshed and hopeful that life might turn better if everyone heeds Mr Hardy’s advice; but also distressed that everyone else doesn’t share the same political beliefs as you and him.

With no supporting act and just a brief interval it is indeed a tour de force. It’s so rewarding to enjoy comedy with a left wing slant that is uncruel, insightful, and above all intelligent.

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