Jonathan meets the star of the show
Were we having a laugh?
By Jonathan Parramint
Ricky Gervais, star of two multi award winning British comedies, The Office and Extras, visited Ipswich on 27 & 28 March 2007 to perform his live stand up show, Fame, to a packed audience at the Ipswich Regent Theatre.
I entered the theatre to a fantastic buzz of excitement as we were about to be in the presence of Hollywood's hottest British performer. As I searched for my seat everybody in attendance was smiling, perhaps smiles of anticipation and expectation.
The sell out crowd were entertained by Robin Ince, the warm up man for Gervais's Fame tour. Ince seemed to strike up an immediate rapport with the audience, and gave an entertaining, solid performance of his material. A 20 minute interval followed as the anticipation grew for the man himself.
The lights dimmed and the crowd cheered with unbelievable excitement, as Matthew Kelly from Stars in their Eyes performed the voiceover for Ricky's pending entrance. The first sound of Gervais's voice was heard when Matthew Kelly asked: "And who are you going to be tonight?" and an excited voice replied: "Tonight, Matthew, I'm going to be Ricky Gervais."
To the sound of Queen's mega hit One Vision the curtains opened and Gervais immerged dressed in a long red cloak and a shiny gold crown. 'Ricky' was emblazoned across the stage in bright lights and an oversized Emmy award to the side of him.
As he removed his cloak and crown he enquired to the crowd as to whether they thought this was over the top, which is conducive to his character.
A running theme throughout the show was how Gervais felt he'd been portrayed in newspapers since he became famous. His tongue in cheek confessions at his annoyance towards one particular newspaper who had reported that he'd paid £2.5 million for a house, when he had in fact paid £3.5 million.
Ricky also made references to the various charities he supports by his portrayal of someone who is quite harsh towards some of the benefactors.
An added bonus was Ricky receiving the award for Children's Book of the Year on stage, via a live link up with Richard & Judy in London. Ricky offered the book award to anyone in the audience who wanted it, saying he preferred the Emmy. He was joking of course, and was delighted to receive the award.
The audience had a great rapport with a man who had quite clearly made himself a multi millionaire with his many successful ventures over the past six years, but has still managed to keep his feet firmly on the ground.
Gervais covered many subjects during his journey with us and seemed to have a genuine passion for performing in front of large crowds. Stand up seems to be second nature to a man who has sold out at so many venues across the UK in a record-breaking amount of time.
The sound of laughter was fantastically loud as Gervais typically took no notice of being politically correct, much to the delight of the packed crowd. He often made fun of reality television contestants and how they crave fame for the wrong reasons, just wanting to be famous.
Ricky Gervais has quite clearly earned his fame, but still isn't comfortable with the baggage it brings; this is clear in his material.
It was a fantastic performance, by a naturally talented performer.
last updated: 11/04/2008 at 13:49
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