“Nothing ruin’s comedy like arenas” muses Tim Minchin in the opening line of his first song. In many cases he’s right. The intimacy of a smaller show is often lost when a comedian can barely see the people at the back, much less converse with them. But it’s just not like that today.
Over the last five years, Tim has worked his way from tiny gigs, right through the ranks, and it’s clear that here, on the stage of Nottingham’s Trent FM Arena, advertised simply as “comedy’s rock star”, he has found a home.
Supported by the 55-piece Heritage Symphony Orchestra, Tim mixes a superb set list of his old classics – from Rock ‘n’ Roll Nerd to You Grew on Me – with some brilliant new tracks.
“I always felt like I deserved a symphony orchestra, just following me wherever I go. You know, just in case I felt the need to really emote” he jokes.
The best of his new work comes in the form of a “lullaby” to his young daughter, which gets twisted further and further into a joke as the song goes along, before the final punch line comes that “the one thing they don’t tell you in the parenting book: they look sweeter, the closer to dead they look.” Tim has always been a master of words, and his lyrics have a biting truth to them, that everyone can appreciate, while skirting the borders of acceptability perfectly.
The one slight let down of the evening comes in the form of “If I Didn’t Have You”, an incredibly wordy song he has in the past dedicated to his wife. Amongst the flurry of the orchestra, the true meaning of the song is lost, and its comedy diminished, which is a shame because it is an intelligent and eloquent examination of human relationships (and of probability).
As the show thunders towards its conclusion though, Tim leaves the audience with 2 songs which could both stand quite happily in a “most beautiful song ever written” contest – Not Perfect, and Aussie Christmas song White Wine in the Sun. The former has always been one of Tim’s best, but tonight, with the orchestra behind it, the song takes on a new power.
White Wine In The Sun in contrast leaves the show on a lighter happier note, as Tim sings of the happiness he feels at getting to spend Christmas with his entire family in Australia, carefree for just a moment in time.
On tonight’s evidence, I’d suggest that Tim is only going to get better. He’s finally made it to where he belongs. Tim is not just a rock star. He is truly comedy’s rock superstar.
Tags: Tim Minchin