I’d bought a ticket to see Omid Djalili on a whim. I’ve only seen him on TV and not very often at that so took a chance.
The highlights of the evening, though, were nothing to do with his performance.
- I had half a row all to myself; during the support there must have been 9-10 empty seats either side of me and this only went down by 3 for Omid’s set. Such space.
- Sitting right behind me were the developer trio I knew from Microsoft – Jane Pratt, Phil Johnson, Ray Ion
- Support was provided by the marvellous Boothby Graffoe. He specialises in surreal and plain odd songs which I can recommend getting copies of through his albums (Wot Italian? and Songs for Dogs’ Funerals). In his brutally short set, he played “Hartlepool” (about the monkey hanging), “Spelling Sheep” and a few others whilst enthusiastically engaging the audience.
I shouldn’t have been so surprised that Boothby was supporting Omid Djalili as he writes material for him too although I’m not sure how much was in use after the interval.
Omid didn’t seem too confident with his material to start with and commented when some of the jokes didn’t go as well as he’d hoped, and at one point got the delivery completely wrong. Personally I didn’t see the point of highlighting the gaffs – he should have known what worked by this point in the tour.
After a while he got more into his stride. The anecdotes were quite interesting – I hadn’t realised how much of a film star he was (must dig out The Mummy for a laugh). He still wasn’t making a great impact on me and this was no more obvious to me than at the end. Omid had finished his set and had gone off-stage so I was sitting there waiting for the house lights to come on; I was quite surprised to see him bound back on to the stage for his encore.