Review: Mark Steel, Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield, January 2011

First night of Mark Steel’s new UK tour - Mark Steel’s In Town - so ‘it might be great or it might be complete bollocks.’ It was a good start. I reviewed Mark’s previous tour over three years ago when he was last in Huddersfield. The crowd was smaller then, but tonight was almost sold out, and quite rightly. Mark’s presence on Radio 4 panel shows, such as The News Quiz, has allowed him to test his material, as has his column in The Independent and his blog (click on How I Spent An Afternoon – priceless) which has gone from strength to strength and shows off his love for history and politics. His writing, both on the page and on tour, is definitely sharper, but what stands out this time is his extraordinary talent for regional and country accents – Geordie, Northern Irish, London, Cornish, Brummie, Welsh and Scottish, each one matched with precisely the right combination of swear words that make the accents sing beautifully. He is quite the performer; articulate, smiley and potty-mouthed. Four stars, if anyone’s asking.