I hadn’t heard of James Acaster until sometime two years ago when watching an episode of Mock the Week. He struck me as being witty but somehow different from the other comedians, such as Miranda Hart, Michael McIntyre and Josh Widdicombe, that I’ve enjoyed over the years. I researched him so I could put a name to the face but left it at that. In 2018 I discovered his four part Netflix series called Repertoire - in which James discusses life as an undercover cop and the difficulties in building a honey business – and highly recommend it.

Less about Cold Lasagne and more to do with failed flapjacks, James opened the show by discussing the solar eclipse in 1999 and his admiration of the moon controlling periods and tides. Segueing into a retelling of his experience in the Bake-Off Tent, the audience could only imagine the odd combination of Sandy Toksvig, a large marshmallow gun and a jet lagged James Acaster. Though arguably the most comical event of the first half was his interaction with three audience members who were causing a disturbance for other people by sitting on the steps despite buying standing seats. Considering the slight bitterness they directed towards him, Acaster handled the situation well by his shock that such a thing as a standing ticket existed and complaining that his predicament was worse in having to stand AND remember his set.

The second half culminated in Acaster revealing some of what went on for him in 2017, which he claimed was the worst year of his life. Underpinned by what one can only imagine were some genuine lows, Acaster wove a whimsical web of jokes concerning a steakhouse, an ex-girlfriend and a well thought out prank on his unsuspecting agent. The routine openly admits that there are two sides to every story and in some cases Acaster may not always be a pleasure to work with. Nevertheless, an evening in his company is certainly worth your while. Not only does the Guardian review rate his comedic genius very highly; my mother commented that Acaster had succeeded in shaping a “intimate connection with his fans; appealing to everyone in one way or another; entertaining through his movement and expression as well as his words, while also leaving us wondering what he’ll bring out next”.

Acaster will be performing his show at the Phoenix Theatre until 19th January and at Vaudeville Theatre from 25th February to 2nd March 2019. After the Melbourne leg of the tour from 9th to the 21st April, he will be returning to the UK and touring from May.