Ben Aynsley

Review: Miles Jupp @ The Stand Newcastle

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Miles Jupp

Despite being in comedy since 1999, starring in hit BBC sitcoms, appearing on every panel show imaginable and cameoing in blockbuster films, Wikipedia still says Miles Jupp is best known as the hapless inventor Archie from Balamory.

When people talk about career-defining roles, an inventor in a children’s show who has a tendency to break into song is not the most enviable, but Jupp is doing his best to move on. His latest effort is his new stand up show, Miles Jupp Is The Chap You’re Thinking Of.

Being introduced as the star of a “now legendary” special edition of Songs of Praise from the 90s, Jupp took to the stage of the sold-out Stand in a plain blazer/shirt combo and unkempt  hair in need of an overdue cut, before opening with the tried and tested stand up formula, talk about your kids.

Jupp has four children, the eldest of which is four and he explained that it is exactly as nightmarish as it sounds. Taking them to the park is hard enough without teenagers hurling basketballs around the playground. When Jupp enquired about their behaviour, their response was that they had nothing to do, something Jupp is hugely jealous of.

Looking after four young children leaves Jupp with no time to himself, he jokingly says he does not even have enough time to perform the most basic of bodily functions and dreams of sitting in a darkened room where he can get some peace and quiet. It is easy to see why he’s not had a haircut recently. All the while, Jupp is hamming  up his middle-class persona and drawing a great response from the audience.

One of the discoveries he has made during parenthood is that dried Weetabix and milk is, in his words, the hardest substance known to man. He can attest to this from having spent an incredible amount of time trying to clean the stuff. Jupp reckons you could build bridges with it. He ended the first half of the set by explaining the surprising link between dishwashers and fascism.

Emerging for the second half, Jupp rued how his Balamory role has affected people’s view of him, though he insists Archie is actually the Jack Bauer of children’s television, after all he did invent a carrot-picking machine and develop a biscuit addiction.

He moved on to Twitter, expressing his confusion at the person who set up an account in his name just to say he is not on Twitter. His social network of choice is paper and read from a sheet on which he scribbled his thoughts. The inane ramblings were a perfect mockery of Twitter and showed remarkable awareness for a man whose only experience of social networking is a MySpace account he does not know how to close.

The social commentary moved onto politics and why David Cameron should not be criticised because he cannot remember when he last bought a Cornish pasty. He should be criticised for his party’s cuts that are sending Britain back to the dark ages. It was a surprising turn from Jupp, though condemning Tories always goes down well with a North East crowd.

Jupp ended a very enjoyable show with an anecdote about a New Zealand compère and race against time to buy new trousers. If Jupp can continue to produce stand up shows of this standard, he will surely be known as someone other than Archie the inventor.