Comedy Review: Jeff Dunham – ‘Controlled Chaos’ Tour – London Wembley Arena

Jeff Dunham
‘Controlled Chaos’ Tour 
London Wembley Arena 

Wednesday 25th April: Jeff Dunham a comedian who has done the unthinkable, he has proven that a ventriloquist can have huge mainstream success. On his international tour with his ‘suitcase posse’ it was London’s turn to see a genuine entertainment phenomenon. With his international tour expected to gross $45 million, half a billion views on YouTube and over 5million Facebook fans; the show definitely did not disappoint, I was laughing pretty much all the way through.

Jeff Dunham takes the stage of a packed arena alone, welcoming the crowd and also showing pictures of his past. There is a running theme in all the photos; it is of course, that every photo has a dummy in it. I can’t help feel that this lasted a bit too long; maybe it felt long because I was waiting for characters to start being brought out of the suitcases.

We were told that new and old material would be used, some of the new material being shown in preparation for the Halloween special, which will have the characters picking what Halloween costumes they want to wear.

With 5 characters on the ‘Controlled Chaos’ tour; the first character we were to be entertained by was Walter, an old and out of touch curmudgeon who’s extremely opinionated about the things he hates. Walter spoke about what he loved most about England ‘that it’s not France’, the royal family, British weather and marriage, to name a few. The banter between Walter and Jeff is funny to watch and hear, because if you think about you can always picture someone you know that is exactly like Walter.

Next to be brought out of the suitcase was; beer guzzling white trash product from the famous ‘tornado alley’ of the South, Bubba J. Bubba J has a new job in security, for a brewery, which consists of him being drunk for most of it. Some jokes were added to the act, purely improvisation, which proved hilarious and showed just how good Jeff Dunham's talent is.

After a short 15 minute interval, the act that brought Jeff Dunham into light came to the stage. Achmed the skeletal corpse of an incompetent suicide bomber, introduced as ‘the most beloved terrorist in the world’. Achmed has the well known catchphrase ‘Silence! I kill you!’ and the first time hearing it had the audience going crazy. Achmed decided that the scariest thing he could think of to dress as for the Halloween special, was an American woman, Achmedina. Even though there was a malfunction where the legs got attached to the rib cage, and parts of the body started coming loose, the act carried on, with added banter between the two of them, making it hilarious.

Next out of the suitcase was Peanut, a hyperactive, purple-skinned ‘woozle’ with white fur covering most of his body, a tuft of green hair on his head and one sneaker on his left foot. Peanut is an extremely funny character, who makes fun of Dunham and swears a lot, at one point even a member of the audience who decided to shout something out, clearly the ‘bad kid’ of the ‘suitcase posse’. The majority of the conversation was about the Halloween special where Peanut will be taking on the rule of Batnut a take on Batman. Peanut was one of my favourite characters of the night.

Joining the stage with Peanut was José Jalapeño, he is basically a talking jalapeño pepper on a stick, with a thick Spanish accent. This act had frequent banter between Peanut and José and talks of the Halloween special. With José back in the box, Peanut’s own dummy was brought out, which happens to be a dummy of Jeff Dunham himself. So the final act consisted of Jeff making voices for Peanut, Mini Dunham, José (who’s in the box) and of course himself. Showing flawless talent and skill, that clearly makes Jeff Dunham the best and most successful ventriloquist out there.

With just two shows left in England, there is a slim chance of seeing the tour, however with the promise of a Halloween special and I presume more tours in the future, Jeff Dunham is definitely worth watching. If you do get the chance to see him live, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Review by Christina Benneworth

Listings Information

Friday 27th April – Manchester Arena (Manchester)
Saturday 28th April – Metro Radio Arena (Newcastle upon Tyne)
Ticket Prices: £29.40 – 33.45
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