The Return of The Big Laugh-In: Labatts Apollo, Manchester, 1991
Newman and Baddiel in Pieces: Labatts Apollo, Manchester, 1992
Frank Skinners’ Credit Crunch: Lyric Theatre, London, 2009
David Baddiel: Fame Not the Musical: Assembly George Square, Edinburgh, 2013
David Baddiel: My Family Not The Sitcom: Playhouse Theatre, London, 2017
I first saw London based Jewish author and comedian David Baddiel, together with Rob Newman, Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis, perform as The Mary Whitehouse Experience in The Return of The Big Laugh-In at the Labatts Apollo in Manchester in 1991. A year later, Baddiel and Newman bought their Live and In Pieces television series to the stage in 1992. They both performed their solo sets before joining forces for classic sketches such as History Today.
When Newman and Baddiel went their separate ways in 1993, Baddiel joined forces with comedian Frank Skinner and made a succession of television and live shows. In 2009, I saw Baddiel appear as a guest on Frank Skinner’s Credit Crunch – a cabaret variety show on a budget with top class comedians, West End stars and musical acts hosted by Skinner.
After a period of fifteen years Baddiel returned with a solo show which I saw in 2013 at the Edinburgh Fringe called Fame: Not The Musical. In the show, Baddiel realised that he wasn’t especially famous anymore so he analysed the various levels of celebrity and how it affects both the famous and those looking in from the outside. The show was extremely funny, popular and successful.
Baddiel continued with his solo work and in 2017 I went to see My Family: Not the Sitcom at the Playhouse Theatre in London in 2017. The show was a massively disrespectful celebration of the lives of David Baddiel’s late mother and dementia-ridden father. It was a show about memory, ageing, infidelity and dysfunctional relatives. There were a lot of laughs during the evening and the performance was at times very poignant but delivered with warmth, humour, and compassion. The show has become a great success for Baddiel and having lost both my parents and my aunt in 2003, 2018 and 2019, I could relate a lot to this show on many levels.