Hilary Wardle

DVD review: Jack Whitehall Gets Around

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Jack Whitehall can’t do anything wrong at the moment.

As well as his award-nominated portrayal of hapless posho J.P. in the hilarious student sitcom Fresh Meat, his stand-up career is going from strength to strength. 2014 saw him take his new show, Jack Whitehall Gets Around, on tour, with a DVD recording at Wembley Arena in London.

As ever, Whitehall is at his best when he’s lampooning his own upper middle class background and some gags about his school years – specifically, the way he decided to deal with bullies – will leave you in stitches.

Another strong section deals with 1990s Disney film The Lion King, which might leave older audience members behind, but anyone who grew up with the film will certainly love hearing about Whitehall’s health and safety recommendations for the African savannah.

Unfortunately there are some aspects of the show that work less well. His habit of sniggering at his own jokes can get a bit annoying, and he also seems a bit too desperate to get the audience on side.

His self-deprecating attempt to convince us that a) he’s put his lion costume on back to front by accident and b) that he’s forgotten the punch line of a joke feels a bit forced (he hasn’t; he did the same thing every night of the tour) and leads to a fairly annoying, repetitive section that makes the show end with a whimper rather than a bang.

Thankfully, the rest of the show is good and makes up for the poor ending. The DVD is also jam packed with extras – some of them video sections from the tour, others specially made for the DVD – most of which are well worth a watch.

Whitehall’s curmudgeonly dad makes two hilarious appearances and Whitehall’s ‘Road to Wembley’ tour video is touching and interesting, though Kriss Akabusi’s high energy ‘interval aerobics’ extra feels a little bit strange. It was probably funny if you saw it during the live show, but doesn’t work at home.

If we awarded stars on effort alone then …Gets Around would definitely get five. As it stands, a couple of aspects of the performance and some of the DVD extras let it down a little bit, but it’s still very much worth the price tag.

Jack Whitehall Gets Around is out on DVD now. Buy from Amazon for £9.99.