At only 23 years of age, Jack Whitehall has been on the comedy scene for quite some time now, and has guest-starred on some major comedy panel shows including Mock the Week, 8 Out of 10 Cats and Would I Lie to You? While always a decent enough guest, Whitehall never really seemed to stand out on these shows against the likes of David Mitchell, Russell Howard and Sean Locke. You may therefore be mistaken into thinking that you have seen the best of what Mr. Whitehall has to offer. Wrong.
When Jack took to the stage at the Playhouse he seemed surprisingly at ease all alone on stage, and without any need for a warm up act he launched straight into his set. The set was diverse and Whitehall revealed (some somewhat shameful) stories from his childhood including an almost obsession with dressing up as Robin Hood (the green tights and all). Along with some more everyday topics, his jokes entered the realms of Nandos, dwarves and Jeremy Kyle. His live set seemed to have taken a move away from laughing at his rather posh upbringing, as his act quite usually does, and to move more towards a mock of his adult life involving relationships, moving out and daytime television; including a passionate hate for CJ from the Eggheads (as you can tell Jack has definitely matured). During the gig Whitehall took the plunge into the rather risky business of improvisation and throughout he took time away from his set to interact with his audience.
Seemingly the small bits of interaction like this are what made it a personal experience for the audience; part way through the first section Jack realised his microphone had ceased to work and just like a professional he stripped it off, breaking it even more in the process, and tossed it off stage; a guest appearance from a rather nonchalant-looking ‘tekkie’ followed with a replacement microphone.
The set soon came to an end and after worrying for a few seconds that perhaps there might not be an encore, the audience were quickly relieved to see Jack make a return to the stage. Even more relief came when it was revealed that the wait was in order for Jack to slip into the bright yellow chicken outfit he was now wearing. His encore made a return to one of his favourite topics: Robert Pattinson. For those unaware Robert and Jack attended the same school; ever since, Robert has been destined to play a sparkly vampire, and to be one of Jacks favourite jokes.
Near the beginning of the set Whitehall admitted he had never played Norwich before, and that this was to be his very first gig. While when it comes to Nando’s, Jack may only be a Lemon and Herb man, but at only 23-years-old this comic really knows how to hold his own onstage. Let’s hope this isn’t the last time he’ll grace the stage in Norwich.