Review: Adam Kay at Lanterns Studio Theatre

It’s not often that you go to a comedy gig and get bought a beer - mid-set - by the headlining act, along with every other member of the audience.

But that is exactly what happened when Adam Kay, pianist extraordinaire and writer of smutty lyrics on everything from try-hard celebrities to upset tummies, did when he performed at the new Lanterns Studio Theatre in Canary Wharf last week.

Peering across the brightly-lit, freshly-painted hall at the 15 or so of us who had turned up to hear him croon away, he decided we all needed a drink on the house (or, on him, as it happened).

What a thoroughly nice bloke. Thankfully, considering the somewhat awkward set-up, a funny one, too.

If you YouTube his act, Amateur Transplants, you will come across a plethora of well-known tunes which playfully tweak lyrics in a silly, crude sort of way.


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A song about his hatred for London Underground, which he created with his Amateur Transplants partner, Dr Suman Biswas, before going it alone, went viral. Other examples are Lady Gaga’s Pokerface which is turned into a warning jingle on the perils of tea-making with small spoons that could see you “poke your face”.

But while much of Kay’s material is daft humour, a decent chunk is also clever and ever so catchy.

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The comic used to be a doctor, an anaesthetist to be precise, and his medical-themed songs are some of the funniest.

A skit on what exactly anaesthetics get up to in the hours in which they are required to stare at a patient’s heartbeat monitor is hilarious.

Bringing in some personal experience, he draws on his parents’ dismay on discovering he was ditching his medical career for a life of gags. But based on his aptitude to endear himself to an audience, regardless of its size, they needn’t have worried. His songs are serving him just fine.

For more shows at Lanterns Studio Theatre see www.lanternsarts.co.uk

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