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Selling Fast
Miles Jupp: On I Bang

Miles Jupp: On I Bang

Miles Jupp: On I Bang

Miles Jupp: On I Bang

January 22

Selling Fast

On I Bang

Since Miles’ last tour finished at The London Palladium in 2017, he’s been in The Full Monty on Disney Plus, The Durrells and Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? on ITV, as well as a heap of episodes of Frankie Boyle’s New World Order and Have I Got News For You.

He’s made an award-winning radio series and he’s published a novel. But for Covid, he would have played a lead at the RSC. Hey ho. Nevertheless he’s done a play in the West End and played the Emperor of Austria and Europe in a Ridley Scott film.

Yet one sunny day in the middle of all this, he suddenly suffered a brain seizure. This led to the discovery of a tumour the size of a cherry tomato, and a rather pressing need to undergo major neurosurgery.

Obviously, one doesn’t wish to make a big deal of it, but the experience has left him with a story to tell and a few things that he’d like to share with the room. So that’s exactly what he’s doing in his new show On I Bang – a tale about surprise, fear, luck, love and qualified medical practitioners.

Empty Empty Empty Empty Empty Empty

★★★★☆
Stand-up, Miles Jupp tells us at the end of the best show of his career, is all about wrestling to understand things. So how can he understand what happened to him in 2021, when he had a brain seizure while filming an ITV thriller and then, weeks later, had a brain tumour removed?

Well, if life gives you lemons, make sherbet. Jupp glances at a few what-ifs here. What if his seizure had happened while he was driving his five kids around, as it easily could have done, rather than somewhere with an on-set medic? What if the operation had gone wrong? What if it had left him no longer able to read or in any way dimmed his disdain for golf?

In the end, for all the many jokes that Jupp throws at the subject, there is a sense of tenderness and gratitude that underpins even his most peevish quips. And the well-observed self-deprecating details keep on coming for almost two hours. As such, this is visibly a comedian performing a densely written piece rather than affecting to wing it. His dark suit and brown shoes underline the slickness of it all. The approach suits Jupp’s genteel hyper-articulacy even if, early in the tour, he could benefit from loosening his grip on that text just a smidge. You are glad of the moments when he bursts into character, or laughter.

Oh, but what joys he summons as he takes us through these awful details. The hospital tests. The chat to the anaesthetist. The confident surgeon he gets — and, in one of many flights of fancy, the over or under-confident alternatives he imagines. The paean to his 27 years of drinking, now that he has to stay sober. The jokes about his talkative mother and messy wife that hide so much love behind their sting. If any other former cast member of Balamory has a funnier catheter routine this year I’ll drink my blood bag.

At several points Jupp starts to get nakedly emotional then segues into a joke instead, and you get the genuine feeling — and the genuine need — to find the funny in things. Bingo! You won’t cry but you will laugh, and you will get the point. It’s a serious tale, lightly told. He’s lucky to be here; we’re lucky to have him. I’m not sure there’s much more to understand than that.

Performances:

7:30 pm

PRICES:

£28

Stafford Gatehouse Theatre

  • A tale about surprise, fear, luck, love and medical practitioners.

  • From the Thick of It to brain surgery

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