Laughing through a Lock in

Sean Lock on stage

Sean Lock on stage

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Sean Lock
Preston Guild Hall

Did Toxic Terry, Preston’s most famous fuel guzzler, really make an appearance at the Guild Hall Saturday night?

One member of the crowd there gathered to see comedian Sean Lock seemed so convinced.

‘Shurrup Toxic Terry,’ they boomed from an upper tier as a magnificently incoherent heckler centre stage continued to intrude upon Lock’s musings.

None of which was remotely tiresome, as the 8 out of 10 Cats star deftly turned these briefly endless interruptions into some of the night’s biggest laughs.

Plenty to pick from. Might be a cliché to say this correspondent headed home with a sore face, but life is full of things which become clichés for good reason.

Over a wide range of topics Lock displayed all the qualities which have helped him secure the rare feat of mainstream popularity and critical acclaim.

From world weary absurdisms to surreal shaggy dog tales, shot through with spiky political and social barbs, his material is as broad as it is intelligent – arguably an even rarer feat.

Filtered through an unexpected gift for clowning (a hissing scuttle used to drive cats from the Lock family garden folded me neatly in half) and the best deadpan delivery since Les Dawson (maybe Hancock) and you have a comedian with one foot in the best of both past and present. A four-star performance.