Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Review: My Family - Not the Sitcom at the Menier Chocolate Factory

My Family: Not the Sitcom
Menier Chocolate Factory
Reviewed on Tuesday 17th May 2016

In his own words, David Baddiel's new show is a "twisted love-letter" to his larger than life parents. From affairs to pornography, there are few boundaries as Baddiel gives a very honest insight - I certainly left feeling as if I knew both his parents personally. 

It's interesting seeing what is essentially stand up comedy being performed in a theatrical environment; it gives Baddiel the opportunity to push things a little further beyond easy laughs. Baddiel certainly crossed the line a few times, but overall the press night audience were in hysterics throughout.

My personal highlights included the section about the crazy world of Twitter (Baddiel shows us what various trolls have tweeted him throughout the years) and a later segment about what happened when a journalist once misquoted him. Whilst it's all very jolly, as I left the theatre I found myself deep in thought. In some ways it's a very sad show, but it's also refreshing to see someone being honest and embracing quirks and imperfections. 

Baddiel's mother recently passed away whilst his father has dementia and is unaware of the show. It would be absolutely fascinating to imagine what they would think of it - during a Q&A at the end of the night, Baddiel said that whilst she wouldn't approve of all the content, his mother loved being in the spotlight so would have been thrilled. It was also touching when a family explained to Baddiel they had come as one of their relatives is also suffering from dementia, and said watching the show made them realise that sometimes you have to see the funny side and laugh.

Baddiel's humour won't be for everyone, but once I got into it I found it to be a highly entertaining evening. In a time when more and more comedians are playing in huge arenas, it's a treat to see a comedian embracing the intimate setting of the Menier Chocolate Factory.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

My Family: Not the Sitcom runs at the Menier Chocolate Factory until 25th June 2016.
Please visit for further information and tickets.

Photo Credit: Marc Brenner

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