REVIEW – James Acaster, Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999, The Phoenix Theatre [by Charlotte from B.R.A]

We love live comedy at The Phoenix Remix and one of the things we enjoy the most is a review. Last night Charlotte Gaughan from improv troupe B. R. A Saw James Acaster at The Phoenix. Over to Charlotte for her review. 

Honest and hilarious: James Acaster, Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999 at the Phoenix Theatre 15th January 2019

Whilst taking my seat in the Phoenix Theatre fifteen minutes before the show was due to start I almost didn’t notice that James Acaster was already on stage, donned in sun glasses and an excellent palm tree bomber jacket, gently dancing to some music. This hilarious but slightly awkward sight was probably a good indication of what was to come of the rest of his epic new show ‘Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999’. He was putting himself out there and the audience were loving it.

A show of two halves Acaster seamlessly transitions from an epic metaphor for Brexit (if you’ve seen his teabag analogy on TV you will love this) including ordering food at a restaurant only to be served “a rusty alarm clock and a plate of shit” into an honest and vulnerable take on what he calls the worst year of his life.

The line between comedy and tragedy is famously thin and to tread that line so deftly whilst keeping us laughing is no easy feat. Just as with some comics who cover more controversial topics you groan first then laugh with Acaster’s more personal stories of heart break, dodgy ex-agents and mental health I found myself at times oohing empathetically first, followed by fits of laughter.

In his, now famous, Netflix Four part special Repertoire we saw Acaster’s ability to perfectly craft a show so that it felt so circular and complete and this is definitely continued in the new show alongside his ability to be gut wrenchingly honest and still have you rolling about in your seat with laughter. There are still lots of classic James Acaster scrapes in the mix but in this show he takes it further and bears some of his more complex wounds.

Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999 does have a final run in London’s Vaudeville Theatre from 25th Feb-2nd March and if you can get a ticket (call the theatre, check for Acaster’s Twitter following who often need to offload tickets) do! You can also catch James on his hilarious new food inspired ‘Off Menu’ podcast with fellow comedian Ed Gamble and hopefully with a return to this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Charlotte Gaughan

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