18 January 2015
Reviewed by Ann Durrell
The tour is billed as the greatest hits of the popular radio 4 show which has been going since 1972 and describes itself as the antidote to panel games. Alongside the regular panellist, Barry Cryer, Tim Brooke Taylor and Graham Garden are Jeremy Hardy and as chairwoman, Sandy Toksvig. When we took our seats every member of the audience had been provided with a kazoo. After trying unsuccessfully to get a noise out of the kazoo (it’s been a while) I was relieved that a short demonstration was given during the introduction so as not to look foolish in front of my fellow audience members.
The show consists of rounds of games from the radio show, some singing, some word play and of course some kazoo playing. In Karaoke-Cokey the audience are shown a song and then, following a short introduction on the piano from Colin had to play the song on the Kazoo for the Panel to guess, which they did quite easily so the demonstration must have been extremely good! During one Song to the Tune of another Tim Brook Taylor sang the words to The Smiths Girlfriend in a Coma to the tune of Tip Toe Through the Tulips and treated the audience to a jaunty jig not really in keeping to the words of the song! We were warned by Sandy prior to Jeremy’s singing rounds that we were to laugh with him and not at him, a difficult feat as he is possibly one of the most tone deaf persons I have ever heard. Jeremy takes the singing rounds in his stride and really gives it some welly when trying to hold a tune. Other notable rounds were Mornington Crescent, a fan’s favourite where you could hear a pin drop as the teams named London underground stations and places until one team reached Mornington Crescent. For non-listeners the rules to the game were handily printed in the programme.
Whilst portions of the show did appear to be quite scripted, there were occasions that Sandy Toksvig corpsed. During the ‘In my Pants’ round, where the panel name film titles and the chair then says ‘In My Pants’ Sandy Toksvig found it very hard to keep it together. After the final game of the Quiz of Quizzes which is near impossible to follow or work out which team was the winners, the finale was a round of Swannee Kazoo. Jeremy Hardy and Tim Brook Taylor started the duet on the Swannee Whistle and Barry Cryer and Graham Garden with the audience followed on the kazoo. I must say that I think the audience really stole the show during this round!
It would be hard not to enjoy this show with such comedy greats on the panel and Sandy Toksvig made an excellent chair. I would have possibly liked to have seen more improvisation but on the whole it was an excellent show and I would recommend it to existing fans and new listeners.
I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue is currently on tour, for more details visit www.isihac.net/tour_dates.php.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000