“Surprising, subversive, and refreshingly wholesome”, Alasdair Beckett-King kicks off his Nevermore UK tour at The Old Rep in Birmingham

Words by Emily Doyle / Pics by Edward Moore

On Wednesday 27 March, Alasdair Beckett-King kicked off his twenty-seven date UK tour at The Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham.

Beckett-King is a self-styled renaissance man. Audiences are most likely to recognise the waifish stand-up from his appearances on BBC’s Mock the Week – and with his shock of bright red curls, audiences ARE likely to recognise him.

However, his profile reaches beyon panel show appearances; he’s also got a strong following for his YouTube skits, he co-hosts podcast Loremen with fellow comic James Shakeshaft, and his second children’s book Montgomery Bonbon: Death at the Lighthouse was published in October.

Plus, his animation and video game development work sees him credited on a number of indie releases, including the critically acclaimed point-and-click adventure, ‘The Excavation of Hobbs Barrow’. But he’s not here to talk about any of that tonight; instead, he’s going to spend the majority of his show Nevermore explaining why he hates the North Sea.

As an “up-and-coming” comic, Beckett-King doesn’t have the budget for a touring support act, so he fills that role himself. He arrives on stage, little wooden attaché case in hand, and the room warms to him seemingly instantly.

He is verbose yet personable, and his quips about trying to nail down his demographic to the promoter (“I’m popular with men with beards, women in video game t-shirts, and non-binary dungeon masters”) clearly resonates with the crowd.

After some meandering observations and a story about the perils of off-the-beaten-track vegan eateries (which Beckett-King emphatically tells the crowd is NOT about beloved local haunt, Cherry Reds) he leaves for a short break before beginning the show in earnest.

Nevermore is a circuitous and multilayered ramble through Beckett-King’s childhood in the North East of England. It’s a good old fashioned stand up set, full of call backs, and rule-of-three punchlines, punctuated with his trademark AV elements (“that animation took two days! It doesn’t get a laugh but it’s staying in the show, because it took two days!”).

A handful of gleeful non-sequiturs keep the audience on their toes, but more than anything it’s refreshingly wholesome – very few comedians can deliver a more-or-less family-friendly stand up set that still feels fresh, surprising, and subversive.

Beckett-King is a charming on-stage presence, and it’s a joy to follow him into his whimsical world.

Alasdair Becket-King is touring Nevermore across the UK until 24 May. For full tour details and links to online tick sales visit www.abeckettking.com/gigs

For more on Alasdair Beckett-King visit: www.abeckettking.com

For more from The Old Rep Theatre visit: www.oldreptheatre.co.uk