Firstly, I have to say that I don’t think this year’s show was as much of a spectacle as its predecessor. The comedy was more conservative, rather than the raucous laughs last year’s performances received.
Britain’s Got Talent winners, Attraction, opened the show with a slapstick circus-themed routine featuring Warwick Davis (being hoisted into the skies again!) and Alan Carr (in his own words, looking like “Ronald McDonald on crack.”)
Compared to last year, a lot of comedians didn’t live up to their past routines. Sean Lock’s 2014 set piece regarding what life would be like if celebrities conveyed their various adverts through people’s letterboxes, was both inventive and executed with a simple genius. However, this year saw him revert to the old crutch of making fun of politicians: the “weird” look of Ed Miliband, what a “shy tory” is and of course some casual belittling of the Scottish National Party.
However, there were some comedians that were true standouts within a plethora of pretty standard jokes. The refreshingly vibrant Paul Chowdhry was amongst this group with his reliably funny takings on the small things of life. Lots of comedians at the moment prefer delivering their jokes under the guise of someone plagued by a disgruntled and miserable attitude and whilst that provides irony and humour to the words they’re speaking, it also means that the content will never exude any kind of energy for the audience to feed off of. Newcomer, Trevor Noah, was another comedian who gave an excellent performance with his witty and intelligent observations on how American plane staff treated him on a recent flight, following the outbreak of the Ebola virus. His delivery was smooth and confident whilst he effortlessly switched in out and of the numerous plane stewards and health and safety officials that made up the joke.
It was lovely to see feminism becoming an emerging topic in many of the sets, with both women and men alike finding humourous points within the issue. Romesh Ranganathan spoke of what it means to be a “fake feminist”, Michael McIntrye engaged in a physical comedy piece on how Kate Middleton really would have looked emerging from hospital after having just given birth. Sara Pascoe’s set was entirely wired around naked women taking over the world, and while that’s an empowering idea, the set turned into more of a lecture that seemed fairly out of place of at comedy event. The only comedienne, I feel whom successfully and humourously tackled the issue was Katherine Ryan. Her set oozed confidence and conviction and while she made some interesting points on marriage, being a single parent and how Harry Styles is responsible for all the world’s disasters; she never forgot to be funny.
All in all the show saw points of extreme hilarity and well-executed sets, but also dry spells of plain and unadventurous jokes.