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Gavin Webster - Standup Comedian

Press Cuttings

A great one from the Edinburgh Evening News. It's abridged, there are other people on the show that quite frankly he slags off a bit but a good review for me though all the same. I wish this bloke could just review me every night while I'm at the fringe. Watch out for some of this on my posters when I do the fringe 2011.

Fortune was clearly smiling upon the audience however, because the second act up was Gavin Webster, a comic with the ability, material and charm which should – unless he's caught in a compromising position with a barnyard animal – take him into the dizzy DVD selling ranks of the top UK comics.

There was bite and imagination at play in Webster's shtick and his piece on local radio ads had sections of the room on the floor laughing, as much in recognition as at his delivery. His skill at mixing broad gags with genuinely clever material gave him a flexibility that other comics would kill for and his finale, a dissection of swearing of which Billy Connolly would be proud, brought the house down.

Here is a recent review from Sam Wonfor from the Journal. It was of my three night run at The Live Theatre. It's not great but she does appreciate that it was for the benefit of the majority of newcomers not journalists that have seen me several times.

I LIKE seeing Geordie comedians on their own turf.

You know that the local references which crop up will have been genuinely observed and not dropped in courtesy of Google or Wikipedia.

You know that there will be a pre-ordered affinity between the crowd and the performer.

And you pretty much know that you can expect a show which no other crowd in the country will get.

All this is true of Blaydon-born and Wallsend-dwelling comic Gavin Webster who is currently two-thirds of his way through a three-night residency at Live Theatre in Newcastle.

In fact, I don’t think there was anything about his show which hadn’t been left to steep in a North East marinade. And lots of it – including the musical interludes – was very funny.

However, it has to be said that the two-hour show offered many moments which, from my point of view, had also been deeply seasoned with a heavy helping of deja vu.

Not that the comedian was frightened of admitting the recycling of material throughout the show.

And to be fair, it seemed that a large slice of the almost-sell-out crowd were hearing – and enjoying – it for the first time.

But having laughed lots during his 2009 three-night stay at Live, I was hoping for more new stuff from the established and rightly- well-thought-of stand-up.

Webster is clearly capable of brilliance – the swearing prefix routine was inspired – and there’s no doubt that his apparent disorganisation is part of his onstage charm.

But I left wishing that we’d heard more of what he’s working on at the moment, rather than the stuff which got belly laughs the last time around. 



The final one I'm going to get this year is from Three Weeks. Again the words are nice but as a result of the authour not appreciating choas, it only seems to get a three star review. Funny how she mentions stuff that falls flat. That very stuff was the constant that seemed to work even on the bad nights. Maaybe she's got a bee in her bonnet cos the very stuff says 'Women are twats, Blokes are alright', who knows. Anyway it's not too bad and it rounds things off OK.


Gavin Webster's Falderal

Gavin Webster/The Stand Comedy Club


The dictionary definition of 'falderal' is 'nonsense', 'foolish talk', and my personal favourite, 'poppycock'. Gavin Webster certainly delivers this, and fortunately, it's very funny. Whilst his disjointed, unfocused style can occasionally be frustrating, he has enough flashes of brilliance to make it worthwhile. Commenting on the mundane, such as our use of swearing, and the bizarre, such as chemical compounds of jokes (complete with vials of the raw ingredients), Webster is enthused throughout. His observations are witty and true, but he does have some weaker moments. The odd inclusion of recorded phone-ins and book reviews fall flat, but he brings it up with some surreal musical mash ups towards the end. Some solid stand up from the Geordie, but not without it faults.

The Stand Comedy Club II, 5 - 30 Aug (not 17), times vary, prices vary, fpp 52

tw rating: 3/5

published: Sep-2009



Here as promised is my three star review from The Scotsman and Roger Cox's effort. Well Roger 3 stars and a few paragraphs of apathy but you've given me one paragraph of pure gold which is almost better than the three stars and makes me think that perhaps I do write some great routines. Have yourself a drink tonight Roger that wasn't a bad effort. Considering you've given some theatre shite two stars on the same page you can become an honourary fan of SOME of Gavin Webster's routines. Here it is:-

Published Date: 28 August 2009




THERE'S a five minute spell in this show where Gavin Webster explains the difference between three groups of people in his native Newcastle – "bastards, c***s and f***ers" – which is as funny, clever and brilliantly observed as anything you'll find in Edinburgh this month. It's just a shame he isn't able to fill the rest of his hour with material of the same standard.

This year, unlike almost every other stand-up on the Fringe, Webster has decided to avoid giving his show a theme. Instead, he has called it Falderal, another word for nonsense, and set out to flit around from topic to topic like some bar-room raconteur, swigging from little bottles containing pretend comedy potions with labels including "random shouting" and "extreme racism" (don't worry, he's not racist) and even throwing in a little sing-song.

Some quick-on-the-draw comedians can get away with this freewheeling approach, but as Webster seems to take longer than most to move up the comedy gearbox from a standing start, his performance ends up feeling jerky and disjointed. Maybe some sort of theme wouldn't have been such a bad idea. Perhaps next year's show could be "Gavin Webster: Bastards, c***s and f***ers."


Until 30 August. Today 10:20pm.



Oh shit!! Another two starrer but this time it's from terminal Gavin Webster hater Steve Bennett from There's so many things I couls say about this review, the one thing I will say is that Chortle have given the show he's involved in (Minority Report) 4 stars, even though everyone I speak to thinks it's bollocks, no favouritism there though mate!?

By the way Steve, it's Shawn Rider not Shane Ryder you fucking fanny!!


Gavin Webster's Falderal – Fringe 2009
Live Review


‘That’s a great joke, that is,’ Gavin Webster says proudly after his one-liners. ‘I wrote that....’

Indeed there are some great jokes here. About five of them. Much of the rest of the hour is futile, repetitive meandering interspersed with occasional bursts of undercooked surrealism that he makes little attempt to sell to the audience.

It’s such a frustratingly unfocussed jumble of half-cocked ideas and unedited trains of thought that it feels like an early preview rather than the finished produced from a comedian of 17 years experience, more than a week into its festival run.

Falderal, which the foul-mouthed Webster starts to explain but then forgets to, means nonsensical talk – a move presumably designed to set himself apart from all the high-concept shows on Fringe and allow him free range for all manner of stuff and nonsense.

Apart from the smattering of entertainingly punny one-liners, the only routine that feels anywhere near finished is his take on the difference between ‘cunts’, ‘bastards’ and ‘fuckers’ in the language of the working man. Swap the Geordie accent for an Irish one, and this could be Dave Allen speaking.

But otherwise the audience can only watch as promising ideas go down the plughole, most often flushed away with a tide of unnecessarily waffle, over-describing the set-ups with repetitive details. There’s no concept of being economic, but the most frustrating thing is that Webster can write decent jokes, but mostly chooses not to.

A stand-up segment about Liverpudlians challenging authority while Geordies comply but grumble is an interesting regional point, which he fails to drive home; likewise the concept of creating comedy like chemistry, using vials containing the various component elements of a good gag, is intriguing, but stops before it gets going.

For a party piece, he does a few songs in the style of other artists, which again sounds good, but are wasted by a lacklustre delivery. Shane Ryder doing the Are You Being Served? theme is promising and silly, but he blames the failure of his Mark E Smith impression on the audience not knowing The Fall, but it’s really because of the half-hearted under-performance.

Webster’s better than this, and while he might be happy to sleepwalk through a hour, audiences might want a show that’s actually finished.Date of live review: Wednesday 19th Aug, '09

Review by Steve Bennett


Here is a 2 star review from The List. The reviewer claims that perhaps I should work on my rapport and the gags may have worked better. Well thanks for that after 17 years of playing all kinds of rooms, I'll take that on board. Perhaps though, just perhaps, it was them who had no sense of humour that night. Anyway good effort though but I don't think you're a great reviewer yet, perhaps if you judged the material not the humourless stuffed shirts in the crowd son.


Surreal banter with a strong accent


The only thing worse than a comedian having a bad night is when he blames his audience for ‘not getting it’. So, it’s to Gavin Webster’s credit that he avoids addressing this particular elephant in the room until the very end of his Falderal hour when he remarks that his crowd is ‘having a second wind’, apparently unaware that it’s because he’s left his better material till last.

Looking and sounding remarkably like a young Tim Healy, Webster meanders around in a disparate daze, prodding at various topics without much rhyme or reason. His surreal ambitions often smack of disorganisation, although preoccupations on class issues keep rising to the fore, all wrapped up in a treacly Geordie accent.

After a few fleeting greetings at the top of the show, Webster never really connects with his audience and this aloofness sees him quite happy to indulge in long set-ups, seemingly unfazed by the quiet spells between gags. None of the jokes really bomb, it all just seems a bit inconsequential. Perhaps by developing his rapport he might have won us over.

The Stand II, 558 7272, until 30 Aug, 10.20pm, £8 (£7).

It's 2009 now and my first review is from the wonderful Fest Magazine and the reason I say wonderful is because it's 4 stars people. What a decent start. Here it is:-


Gavin Webster's Faldarel

Posted by Chris McCall, Sat 15 Aug 2009

Upon completing his hour-long set, Gavin Webster, apparently for no other reason than that he's a nice chap, stands at the exit of the venue and hands out free bread to the departing audience. “Get yer free bread!” he exclaims. “It's good bread this is.” He sounds like a Geordie Oxfam worker, divvying out food parcels to impoverished festival-goers. And having since made several sandwiches with it, this writer is happy to confirm that it was indeed good bread.

This was not part of Webster's show. During the preceding hour there was no mention of the forthcoming giveaway. Instead, he talks a lot about Geordies being for the most part good-humoured, well-intentioned people who nonetheless like to stick to the rules. “I like a bit of fun,” Webster admits, “but there's a limit! Imagine Paul Gascoigne raised by Methodist parents. That's me.” By extension, he theorises Geordies would have made excellent Nazis. “I don't like that boy Hitler, but he's the boss ye kna?”

Part surrealist, part traditional stand-up, Webster delivers a well written, cannily observed set that is big on laughs and keeps the audience gripped throughout. He veers off on tangents at exactly the right time, and always knows when it's time to crack another joke. “A friend said to me, 'Gavin, do you like pastiche?' And I said 'Aye, and I like sausage rolls as well.” A very funny comic, Webster is certainly earning his crust at this year's Fringe.




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