Review: Frank Skinner – Gielgud Theatre

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Still Dirty After All These Years

Frank Skinner’s tour is billed as 30 Years of Dirt so you arrive expecting to leave feeling unclean – especially if you’ve read his autobiography – because leaving you feeling a bit grubby is what Frank Skinner excels at, as well as knowing you have had a good laugh, writes Michael Holland.

He comes out to cheers and immediately targets ‘Chris’ in the front row for not applauding. Then James and his Maltesers gets the Skinner Treatment before Sean and Holly find themselves in his crosshairs, and over the course of the show just about everyone in the front row feels the bite and wit of Frank Skinner. It’s why they sat there.

The veteran comedian covers most things in his 90 minutes. He tells of proposing to his long-term partner four times and getting three Noes and a ‘Why?’ in response. He was luring us in gently.

He creeps around the stage talking about his life, a life embellished for comic enhancement, breaking up his prepared act with the unscripted stuff he creates from working the audience. Making it all look easy to make us laugh.

And that is where Skinner shines, in his ability to make it all look so easy, like a ‘craftsman at work’ (His words), letting us know that while closing in on 70 he still has it, while also making sure he doesn’t come across as the old, bitter comedian who despises the new comedy where you can’t say anything that offends. He does, though, make a whole – inoffensive – routine out of exactly that.

Actually, I didn’t leave feeling grubby or besmirched because Frank Skinner truly is a craftsman at work.

Gielgud Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue until 17th February.

Check website for full tour details and booking:


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