Jeremy Hardy couldn’t remember the last time he’d done a comedy gig in Melton.
“1997? You’re joking!” The comic, best-known for his appearances on Radio 4 panel shows, looked flabbergasted.
It was the only time during his entire two-hour set he paused for breath. The show, at Melton Theatre on Saturday night, ran like a stream of social consciousness.
He rattled through subjects as diverse as walkers who carry ski sticks (“even though it’s not snowing”) and 1960s mums’ curry (“It was like a kind of spicy trifle”).
Quite how he managed to stay on track, without once suffering from “brain fade”, was nothing short of remarkable. His relaxed, conversational style was peppered with punchlines.
His brand of stringently left-wing comedy would not be everyone’s cup of tea. Perhaps especially not in the constituency of Rutland and Melton.
“It’s fox hunting country around here, isn’t it?” he said. “But it’s good that you only hunt Quorn. Vegetarian hunting.”
This possibly accounted for the fact the audience was not a sell-out. But those who were there seemed to be enjoying Hardy’s “full and frank exchange of his entrenched views”. Perhaps there could have been a little bit less about London. While the capital is Hardy’s home, its problems can feel quite remote to regional audiences.
But by the end of the night, the world felt firmly put to rights. Don’t leave it so long next time Mr Hardy.