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Review: Frankie Boyle at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

by Angela Johnson. Published Mon 25 Oct 2010 21:41

Liverpool Philharmonic Hall’s air was turned so blue when Frankie Boyle took to the stage I wondered if there might be a permanent tint left staining the walls.

With a tour entitled “I Would Happily Punch Every One Of You In The Face”, the audience could expect nothing less than a verbal attack, directed sharply towards the sickest part of the funny bone.

Despite gaining notoriety for his vicious wit, several members of the audience walked out before bearded Frankie was half-way through his barrage of disturbing one-liners. Not one gag uttered on Mock The Week ever came close to the offensive tirade boiling beneath the surface of the Scot.

Entirely without provocation, besides the misfortune of being seated near the front, Frankie launched an assault on an unsuspecting audience member, “I could watch you being raped without feeling a flicker of emotion – oh yes, I’d be angry they weren’t killing you.”

Entirely unapologetic his wicked sense of humour goes beyond cruelty, Frankie delights in the relentless, unforgiving and, most importantly, hilarious set he has crafted.

90% of which is unrepeatable, a softer highlight being a consideration of Twitter as a “replacement for texting.” Boyle examines this for a moment before concluding it is in fact “a replacement for muttering to yourself: “I’ve just made some toast.” I must tell everyone I know.”

Jade Goody, Amanda Holden, Heather Mills and Susan Boyle all received their fair share of an acidic tongue lashing by Frankie (although, he assures us, no amount of money/gang rape would convince him to take his tongue anywhere near Susan Boyle). Celebrities often flamed, seen as comedic fair game, but Frankie goes twelve steps further than most comedians would. Unashamed in his summation of Jack Tweed’s thought process when posed with the wedding vow: “Til Death Do Us Part.” “This Friday? Alright then.”

Frankie is offensive with such eloquence it’s almost poetic. Similies and metaphors designed to permeate the brain, painting such vulgar images they reach beyond the words he’s dared to speak. Referencing Madeleine McCann, the room turned icy cold, but Boyle was sharp enough to move swiftly on. Yet the Liverpool audience, so often accused of oversensitivity about its own, was overcome with amusement when Frankie daringly questioned an audience member he deemed to have arrived in disguise: “Are you Jon Venables?”

Eyes sparkling with intelligence, a cheeky smile adorns his face as a deep, dirty laugh leaves his lips, like a schoolboy who has easily escaped punishment from teacher. As a dip in laugh-out-loud moments arose, Frankie acknowledged his brutal handling of subject matter such as Cancer, AIDS and Downs Syndrome, pausing briefly to assure the crowd “They’re only jokes.”

Exactly why he has enjoyed three rare sell-out performances in Liverpool alone. There’s little left in this world that is taboo, but Frankie finds it. He digs deep into the darkest recesses of his mind, seemingly effortlessly, to draw huge belly laughs which leave you guilt-ridden for a few seconds before, despite your better nature, you erupt once again with laughter.

8/10

For further information of upcoming events at the Philharmonic Hall please visit www.liverpoolphil.com



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