Hello Ladies, Birmingham Symphony Hall
POOR Stephen Merchant, the talented writer and funny man has written and starred in some of the last few years most popular British comedies including The Office and Extras and made forays into Hollywood, yet all anyone can talk about is his towering height and googly eyes.
But it isnt just his striking appearance that has his audiences in hysterics.
In his first return to stand-up for 14 years, Merchant steps out of Ricky Gervais shadow to share his woes in searching for a mate and all the disastrous dates that entails for his Hello Ladies tour.
You start to see where he is going wrong when he tells of his pedantic, penny pinching and social gaffes including an hilarious anecdote about being bored to distraction at a wedding by someones dull story telling.
Merchants on stage persona, less bombastic than Gervais, is the ever-optimistic loser.
Even when sharing his successes, with his first appearances in the national papers and gossip rags, he is quick to point out that his ego was rapidly deflated again by the fact that they had got his name wrong and his head had been cut from pictures.
He does not spare the intimate details of the struggles of finding love, even recreating the difficulties of trying to get passionate with a lady of average height when you are 6ft 7in.
It ends with the audience getting very close and personal with the comedian as they get a terrifying dates eye view of Merchant which may explain why he has not found his perfect partner yet.
Merchant had us laughing from the off and we were holding our sides and wiping tears from our eyes by the time he finally left the stage.
Hannah Jennings Parry