This weekend, critically-acclaimed comedian Simon Amstell will be visiting the Brighton Dome on his UK tour of stand-up show What is This?.

Amstell rose to prominence on comedy panel show Never Mind the Buzzcocks, on which he appeared regularly as a guest from 2003, and hosted from 2007 to 2009. Amstell endeared audiences with his dorky, and often self-deprecating, humour, and also had a knack for ridiculing guests – famously causing singer and reality star Preston to storm off the show after reading extracts of his wife’s autobiography.

Since then, Amstell has gone on to write and star in BBC sitcom, Grandma’s House, in which he plays an existentially troubled parody of himself. Earlier this year, he released Carnage on BBC iPlayer: a vegan mockumentary written, directed and narrated by himself, and starring the likes of Martin Freeman, Lindsay Duncan and Joanna Lumley. The film is set in an imagined utopian future of 2067, in which everyone has forsaken animal products and looks back in horror at their meat, dairy and egg eating past.

Amstell’s comedy is intimately connected with his own personal struggles, often concerning themes of sexuality, family and his sense of detachment from society at large. A number of critics have observed that six years into a happy relationship and on the back of the success of Carnage, Amstell’s harsh edges of bitterness and cynicism have softened somewhat. The “this” of What is This? refers quite simply to life itself: are we to expect a more mellow, contemplative character than the angsty firecracker we might recognise from Buzzcocks and other earlier work?

Simon Amstell is at Brighton Dome Sunday 19 November. The show starts at 8pm (doors 7.15).

Tickets are now sold out.

Featured Image Credit: Paul Gillett, Geograph

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Georgia Grace

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