Leicester Comedy Festival review: Chris Betts at Manhattan 34
Review by Illy Dalenius
You know those odd thoughts you have in the shower that often trickle down the drain faster than the water?
Canadian stand-up Chris Betts catches those ideas and expands on them in a way that is so bizarre but intriguing that it’s hard to decipher if he’s unhinged or a genius. His comedic ramblings are like the conversation you have with your best friend at 4am, examining the weird and wonderful rollercoaster that is modern life.
Although many non-British comedians rely on tried and tested material for their UK performances, Betts brought a work-in-progress show to Manhattan 34. Well-crafted but not overly polished, the entire performance felt genuine and relaxed.
His approach was chatty and familiar throughout, and the audience warmed to him immediately. And his no-holds-barred show, which took acerbic potshots at the world and society had the room in stitches from start to finish.
In a set that bounced from topic to topic like a rapid-firing squash ball, the subject matter was hilarious and wide ranging, covering everything from parenthood to animal fetishes, all delivered with sincerity, zest and storytelling skill.
Betts did not shy away from the obscene, gleefully unapologetic about his views on getting old and having children, and on entrepreneurial strippers too.
He’s unafraid to admit his own shortcomings and just self-deprecating enough to make you laugh without wanting to crawl out your skin, his hour long performance flew by leaving the audience thirsty for more.
In a world that is changing minute by minute, Betts’ act is a fine balance between philosophy, banter and sheer madness. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but not to be missed.