Lenny Henry is an acclaimed UK comedian, actor, writer, TV presenter and radio host. His career has spanned a couple of decades and he’s now reminiscing about the soundtrack to his life.
Henry’s connection to music is eclectic. As a child, he thought Elvis was a relative (there were pictures of him all over the Henry house) and he’s missed a cue as Othello because he was listening to hip hop. It’s these random types of connections to music that takes the audience through a range of setups and punchlines.
There’s no doubt that Henry’s connection to music is personal and expansive, providing various scenarios in which hilarity ensues. Henry’s live show seven years ago demonstrated a versatile performer with an uncanny sense of comedy.
This time around, there are definitely some stand alone moments that are laugh out loud funny but unfortunately there is a distinct feeling that Henry’s material has dated, transporting us to the mid 90s. Henry relies too heavily on racial stereotypes and “dad jokes” that certainly garner a titter but little more… however I do acknowledge that I am perhaps the wrong audience and generation when noting the standing ovation from over half of the 2,000 strong crowd.
There is no doubt the Lenny Henry is one of the legends of British comedy. His show is a long bow to the definition of “cabaret” and has developed into a niche following, but he can sell out shows and instigate applause (all or nothing people).
The trip down memory lane with the music references keep some semblance of relevant entertainment for the night, but overall Lenny Henry leaves me flat, wishing for the old days.