Review: Griff Rhys Jones – All Over the Place, The Riverfront, Newport

All Over The Place is the name of Griff Rhys Jones latest stand-up show. And as visitors to Newport’s Riverfront Theatre found on Wednesday evening, the shows title matches its contents in more ways than one!

Griff began the show by making several observations on Newport (and he’s well qualified, having been born in nearby Cardiff, he knows Newport well!). “I’ve visited Newport on many occasions,” Griff tells the audience, “I’ve just never felt inclined to get off the train!”

Griff’s observations quickly take on a geographical theme, with photographic evidence to back it up. His visit to Newport is illustrated with several selfie images taken on his mobile phone. These include humorous looks at the City Hall Clock Tower, a tattoo parlour and fast food shops. From Newport, Griff takes the audience to New Zealand, in which he explains that for a recent TV series, he had to do a bungee jump there. This is demonstrated to great effect as Griff balances himself on a chair to explain the insanity of it all.

Laughter continues to follow at regular intervals across The Riverfront’s main auditorium. More observations follow on a diverse array of subjects including been photographed at red carpet events, honorary doctorates, bucket lists, encounters with the Royal Family, been mistaken for Michael Palin and using a phone app to call your mother at regular intervals.

The performance is All Over The Place too, or to a point, all over the auditorium! Quickly asking for the house lights to be switched on, Griff takes Instagram photos of the audience and recounts a story when he went to see his friend, John Sessions in a show at a London theatre. Arriving late at the show, he makes his way into the audience, and climbed over several audience members (doing the same actions to the Newport crowd as he tells the story). I won’t spoil the stories outcome, but the delivery is expressive, fun and has the energy we have come to expect from Griff Rhys Jones.

I’ll admit that prior to the show, I was feeling slightly worn out and down after a particularly stressful start to the week. Griff certainly raised my spirits during his two hours on and off the stage, while bringing back many great memories of the energy and natural comedy ability which was prominent on televisions Not The Nine O Clock News and Alas Smith and Jones all those years ago.

Intelligent, fun, energetic and cheeky, don’t miss Griff Rhys Jones on the remainder of his UK tour visit for details.