25 Years of Reeves and Mortimer (3 stars)

Catchphrases galore and beloved characters aplenty as Vic 'n' Bob retread faded glories

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25 Years of Reeves and Mortimer

As excuses for delaying a project go, Bob Mortimer’s need for a triple heart bypass definitely trumps George RR Martin’s recent ‘erm, I just haven’t sort of got around to it’. However, following what seems like a dangerously brief period of recuperation, Mortimer has now joined Reeves for a series of live shows looking back at their 25 years in ‘light entertainment’.

For those unfamiliar with the work of Vic and Bob, you’d be as well to read no further as this is not a review or indeed even a show for you. Much like the Monty Python reunion in 2014, this venture is based on pure nostalgia with a host of classic characters and skits all ticked off (Novelty Island, Judge Nutmeg, Action! Image! Exchange!), while the likes of Man With The Stick or Graham Lister are cheered to the rafters like long-lost friends.

Back in the 1990s, Vic and Bob blazed a knockabout trail to which the likes of Pappy’s and the Mighty Boosh owe a great deal. But time moves on and while there’s an undoubted joviality about seeing some of these creations again, there is a distinct lack of hilarity: one skit in particular features a lazy racism which should most definitely have been left in the past. For the most part, their audience is clearly very forgiving but it’s not all plain sailing, with the muttered delivery of their musical numbers rendering them unintelligible while a bizarrely misjudged encore leaves even the warm audience confused and a little resentful.

Ultimately the show does exactly what it says on the end of the stick and those going in with their eyes wide open will not be disappointed. But like the Catholic Church following the release of Spotlight, the pair are unlikely to be welcoming any new converts on the back of it.

Reviewed at Edinburgh Playhouse, Sun 31 Jan

25 Years of Reeves and Mortimer

The comedy duo celebrate 25 years of making y'all laugh with a tour that'll no doubt take in their best work, from The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer, past Shooting Stars to House of Fools.

Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham

Fri 9 Dec

£29.50–£35 / 0871 945 6000

Bournemouth International Centre

Sat 10 Dec

£29.50–£35 / 0844 576 3000

Colston Hall, Bristol

Wed 14 Dec

£29.50–£35 / 0117 922 3686

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