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Review: Micky Flanagan – Back in the Game

Tue May 28 2013, New Wimbledon Theatre

Micky Flanagan – Back in the Game

Micky Flanagan – Back in the Game

‘In 2011, my career took off, and I became famous,’ says Micky Flanagan, not beating around the bush at the start of his new solo show. But it’s not the paparazzi, or signing autographs, or having to keep his trademark locks so bouncy, that frustrates the 50-year-old comic about his newfound fame. It’s that he’s ‘not allowed to steal anymore’.

Yep, despite being a member of the stand-up elite (with a swelling bank balance to prove it), Flanagan’s held on to his working-class roots – he’s still a rebellious teenager at heart, and still prone to a spot of low-level skullduggery.

‘Back in the Game’ – which, later this year will play nine arena dates in London alone – focuses mainly on Flanagan’s marital grumbles, turning 50 and nostalgia-tinged anecdotes about a no-nonsense ’70s upbringing. Not exactly new comedic territory, you might think, and you’d be right – in fact, the material does slip into clichéd ground on occasion, especially when on the subject of his domestic life.

But Flanagan’s sneaky delivery and extended Cockney vowels help extract every possible laugh from each routine, and there are some ‘tasty’ stories in this hour-and-a-half. His tales of small but important victories resonate the most – we’re all rooting for him when he cunningly attempts to catch up with the 37 bus at Clapham Junction.

Those expecting the ‘hits’ from the ‘Out Out’ tour, the show which rocketed Flanagan to his superstar status, will be disappointed – there’s not even a nod to them here. But by the time ‘Back in the Game’ wraps up in a neat callback to the show’s title, the audience has forgotten those old routines ever existed. Bosh, job done.

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Went to see Micky at the O2 in London last night, what an absolute talent this man is, we laughed from start to finish. Some of the material was very close to the edge but fantastic, got to be one of the top comedians in the country right now. Brilliant, would recommend highly.

Amanda Hubbard
Amanda Hubbard

Saw Micky at the Garrick in 2011 and thought it was a hard act to follow. Anyway managed to get reasonably priced seats for the opening night at Wembley and we were not disappointed - far from it! I thought his new stuff was funnier, more current and relevant than his Out Out material. The atmosphere in the arena was great and whilst this gig didn't have the intimacy of the Garrick by the end of the show I certainly felt connected to Micky through his detailed story telling about aspects of his personal life that he had analysed, extracted and exaggerated every hilarious detail! A brilliantly funny 2.5 hours of stand up.