Comedian: Jack Whitehall (and Tom Ward)

Location: Oasis Leisure Centre, Swindon

Date: November 7, 2019

Rating: 5/5 stars

I always get nervous when I go to watch a comedian that I’ve spent so much time watching on TV.

I’ve seen Jack Whitehall on Mock the Week, League of their Own and his recent Netflix show Travels with my Father – So I was hoping he lived up to the expectations.

And he did.

Before the show even started, I was entertained by a stewardess who had to warn every single person who had to step over the raised section of flooring that was covering the tech cables (secretly hoping someone wouldn’t listen and trip over).

I didn’t realise comedians had support acts. I’ve seen a few other comedians, none had supports, but Jack did.

I was worried, what if he wasn’t funny, would he ruin my night?

Luckily, he didn’t. The support in question was Tom Ward. I’d not heard of him before, and it wasn’t who was advertised on the Swindon Theatres website (they had Chris Millhouse).

Tom only had a 10-minute set and it flew by. His mix of anecdotes, personal stories and use of music provided lots of laughs from the audience that was still filtering through the leisure centre doors.

He’s definitely one to watch and I wouldn’t mind watching a full show from him.

After Tom’s brief set, it was time for the main event, Jack Whitehall himself.

And he was one of the best comedians I’ve seen live. He owned the stage like he was born for it.

It helped that he had a wealth of local knowledge available to him – he was originally from Wiltshire – and of course he hit the clichés such as the Magic Roundabout, but a small joke about people shouting on Regent Street was greatly appreciated by myself.

This show was sold as a ‘warm-up’ show before Jack goes on his big arena tour across the UK and at times it did feel like that.

Although almost all of the jokes landed, I do think the audience he was playing to was a tiny bit poor.

He ended both halves of his show with audio cues that related to jokes he performed earlier, but both were lost on audiences. The one before the interval especially, as viewers were clapping him off before he had even finished – seemingly keen to use the port-a-loos that were on offer outside on a cold dark night in Swindon.

Whilst some of his comedy could be seen as ‘immature’ by viewers, that really is something you should expect. If you’ve spent any time watching any of the shows he’s been on then you should know what his comedy is. And for me the comedy consistently landed, and it had my sides splitting at almost every line.

Overall, Jack Whitehall was tremendously funny, very entertaining and surprisingly down to earth. I loved his local references as well as his anecdotes from his travels around the world – he often referenced America and Chernobyl gets a large mention.

If you’ve bought tickets to his arena tour then you’re in for a treat. If you’ve been debating tickets then you should act soon as they’re selling fast.