Lee Evans returns in his latest show, Monsters and it’s pretty safe to say if you’re not a big fan of the frequent use of bad language and immense levels of sweat, then it may be best to steer clear of this one. Though if you do you’ll be missing out on some laughs that will have tears streaming down your face.
While some themes will be very familiar to fans of Evans, there’s a lot of new material here and the man’s unrivalled ability to impersonate both people and creatures in a way that’s undeniably hilarious, has audiences coming back for more time and again – before even factoring-in his gags and witty observations.
Particular highlights include his impressions of the always-unfortunate octopus having to deal with its suckers, the ‘sharks’ we see in aquariums which, let’s face it, are quite the disappointment and the train station announcer of which we don’t have a clue what they’re saying.
It’s possible to view his enduring sense of humility with extreme cynicism, as he’s been touring the biggest arenas in the country for over a decade and yet continues to emerge on stage as the embodiment of bashfulness, but I think that’s entirely unfair.
This is a man who doesn’t frequent the limelight, whether that be with celebrities or otherwise, rarely appears on chat shows and someone I believe is genuinely grateful for the support and adoration of his fans. This being said, he is a millionaire as a result of this massive success and this places him directly in the line of fire of a dubious media.
In praising his good nature it isn’t to say that the show is without its flaws as some of his jokes do fall flat, nothing strange about that you might well say, well yes but when one or two strike a particularly uncomfortable chord with you then something is wrong.
When talking about his wife supposedly offering him some chicken she believes to be ‘off’ in a restaurant, he makes a reference to Ebola. Now whether that was given much thought or not given the recent outbreak I don’t know, but what I do know is that it’s extremely distasteful and that I doubt I’m the only one who will have noticed it.
You will need to carve out a significant portion of your evening in order to watch Monsters. The running time is some 131 minutes which considering how much you’ll be laughing is not a terrible thing, but pair that up with his melodic tribute to his wife at the end of the show and you may start to drift off.
However, with Christmas just around the corner, the DVD or Blu Ray of the show (recorded at the NIA in Birmingham) would make a fantastic gift for a friend or loved one and one that you’d be happy to receive yourself. Though admittedly I dread to think how clearly every drop of sweat on Evans’ head would appear in crisp, high-definition.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars