Saturday, 13 December 2008
John Shuttleworth/Bloomsbury Theatre
I saw John Shuttleworth for the first time at a charity gig in Brighton in the late eighties. His act has barely changed since then and I do wonder if this ever worries Graham Fellows, Shuttleworth's creator. I only ask because Shuttleworth and his audience (myself included) have built up such an affection for each other over the years that it's hard to know where Fellows can take John Shuttleworth next. Certainly nowhere too far afield, all his references (Kitkat wrappers, the Austin Ambassador) are simply too English for that. The non-plussed Spaniard sitting behind was assured by his friend that he would get more of the references with the other character on the bill, the morose brummy Brian Appleton. And sure enough he chortled away while Appleton lamented his missed opportunities as a prog-rock pioneer. By the time Shuttleworth reappeared to round off the show the Spaniard was pacing about at the back of the theatre like a caged animal. The rest of us sat back and basked in the nerdy warmody that is Shuttleworth's stock in trade, complete with silly tunes (actually infuriatingly catchy) and daft lyrics. No swear words either, or belly laughs, just a cosy night in.