Comedy Review: Miranda Hart - The Hydro, Glasgow ✭✭✭✭✭

 Review by Anne Mackie

As Miranda Hart welcomed her arena-filled audience, she heartily clarified "This isn't just a show. Tonight, I thought we'd have a party." 

And a party we irrefutably had! Bursting onto the stage to Chesney Hawkes’ classic The One And Only, Hart shared wry yet comedic anecdotes about party food etiquette, mingling with the upper class, and her awkward flirting due to troubles with “what I call” (to quote a genius) trapped wind! Some would call this form of humour juvenile, but the hearty jollity of the16,000 in Glasgow’s Hydro Arena would very much suggest otherwise. Of course, with every great ‘part-ay’ comes the buffet (and by buffet I mean the winning combo of Doritos followed by “chocolate in a sheath” – AKA, the After Eight), balloons and communal singingslash dancing. “Such fun”? Absolutely.

Hart’s self-deprecating, warm humour and down-to-earth charm has endeared her to thousands of fans spanning 7 to 87 years of age. However, captivating a faithful following via the television is significantly different to amusing a tough-to-please paying crowd during a arena tour. Hart is equally as appealing on stage as she is on the box, confirming she need not depend on the cast of her self-titled sitcom to enhance her comedic “allure”.

On occasion Hart plays it safe with a couple of quips taken from previous material but this in no way detracts from the comedic “cocoon o’ fun” she wraps her audience up in. Not remotely nervous but instead utterly at home in the vast space that is the Hydro arena, Hart delivers her inaugural tour with upbeat gusto and energy proving what an infectious and endearing performer she is. However, My, What I Call, Live Show is perhaps best regarded as modest funhouse as opposed to typical stand-up comedy. Why? There's audience participation, as viewers reenact the dialogue of a posh party, two volunteers are ushered off on an interval blind date, Hart initiates a group dance-off to Whigfield's Saturday Night and we all rejoice in a full arena-karaoke-chorus of Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive. Contrary to opinion, this was better than stand-up.

Where Hart excels is her physical comedy and direct ad-libbing. A particularly humorous (unrehearsed) moment came when a fan walked to the front of the stage, shook Hart’s hand (contentiously) whilst asking for personal instruction during the audience involvement. Hart’s response echoed that of the entire arena – “LET GO!” which she delivered with utmost jest and wit.  A similarly comedic routine on the behaviour adults should reclaim from toddlers was sharp and quick-witted, as was another sequence about parents endeavoring to rein in their disobedient daughter at a wedding. To quote the “Youth of Today”, I was “ROFL’ing”.

In an society where body image and celebrity are considered vastly significant, it was refreshing to watch a naturally talented, hilarious woman who is less than bothered about her personal body image (cue jokes vis-à-vis stick people who perpetually diet and Hart’s love of the humble dessert menu). It must however be noted that Hart looked tremendous after an obvious personal weight loss achievement.

Since launching her popular self-titled TV series, Miranda Hart has naturally become – for want of a typical cliché – “a national treasure”, and her inaugural tour is the key reason why - the proof in the pudding… And who doesn’t love a pudding?

My, What I call, Live Show continues onto Leeds, Liverpool, Belfast, Brighton and Birmingham.