Gary Delaney at the Bloomsbury Theatre review: brutally funny gags had the crowd giggling and gasping

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If you crave a laugh, and frankly we could all do with some laughter right now, look no further than Gary Delaney. As long, that is, as you do not easily take offence. Gary In Punderland, finally reaching the capital on a sell-out tour, does not break the taste barrier, it absolutely obliterates it.

The Solihull-born stand-up made his name with his quickfire quips on Mock The Week but the darker humour here would struggle to make a BBC edit. Delaney is particularly partial to the subjects of illness, stupid people and his own sexual inadequacy.

Some wisecracks are just about printable: “Women have told me I’m better looking without glasses... and then they put their glasses back on.” Intermittent smutty witticisms tease his wife, comic Sarah Millican, who can exact her revenge on her next tour.

Critics should not normally repeat jokes, but there are so many zingers over 90 minutes that a couple of reveals will not have fans demanding refunds. The chances are you will still be laughing at one punchline when the next one hits you. “Fifty per cent of people who go to watch The Cure actually end up watching Placebo and enjoy it just as much” is one of his clever, cleaner comic hot takes.

Further pleasure can be had seeing how Delaney varies the rhythm to avoid the performance simply being a pun parade. A highlight is a foray into PowerPoint presentation, where he chats about how he has tweaked Wikipedia for the fun of it. We now know who altered the Taj Mahal page so that it said the Indian mausoleum was named after a Birmingham balti house.

There is no political agenda. All he cares about is generating laughter. At heart he is just an overgrown schoolboy, sniggering as his audience applauds his wordplay. But he is also a top-tier entertainment engineer, like a casually attired Jimmy Carr, constructing brutally funny gags to make crowds simultaneously gasp and giggle.

Occasionally one can see the pay-off hurtling forwards like an accelerating juggernaut, but Delaney knows this. He says one of the great things about his filthy dad jokes is that they are funnier when you know what is coming. He is correct. If he ever decides to give touring a break he could make a mint launching his own adult-themed Christmas crackers.

Bloomsbury Theatre, June 23, then touring;