Review: Sean Lock at the Barbican

Sean Lock offers student-orientated absurdity at The Barbican. reviews


The consistent quality of Sean Lock’s absurdly humorous one-liners on 8 out of 10 Cats meant that I had high expectations for this show. This pressure was heightened by Lock’s threat to the audience that if we didn’t laugh at his jokes, in six months time he would be making embarrassing TV appearances on shows like Strictly Come Dancing. Luckily for us all, the show did not disappoint and not a single joke fell flat (unlike Lock himself, who physically throws himself into his gags). The popular comedian perfectly balances his delivery by presenting a cynical view of his surroundings with a charmingly cheery delivery and a surreal edge.

Unwittingly, Lock’s material perfectly suits the University student. He offers an amusing take on the role of a careers officer, and claims that he would be perfectly suited to the job because he is “really good at letting people down”. This confession is further illustrated in his absurd explanations to his children about how Velcro and gravity work. The comedian defends the binge drinkers among the student community, claiming that they are simply victims of bad publicity. Lock also offers a reassuring take on exams for this underprepared student, claiming that they are just “obstacles that stop you from doing things.” However, the lax perspective that this has encouraged is perhaps not something that my supervisor would approve of.

Lock really delivers with a brilliant 2-hour performance that had the audience laughing from start to finish. The £21 price tag for the show is well worth it for a quality performance from such a high-calibre comedian. He plays at York Barbican again on the 28th May and I would highly recommend going to see it if you can. I really would like to urge everyone reading this to take advantage of the live comedy in York, if nothing else it provides a welcome break from revision, essays and exams.


  1. 22 May ’13 at 9:41 am

    Clipping Path, Clipping Path Service

    Very impressive.

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  2. Saw him at the Lowry 0n 21 September 2013. I did laugh quite a bit, but quite a few of the jokes fell flat, despite the audience being so well oiled that they would laugh at nearly anything. He’s great at the one-liners on TV as you say; however in a set with just him for over two hours he starts to resemble the mad ranter you are afraid of getting stuck with on a long train journey

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