Frank Skinner's Showbiz review: King of stand-up reaches maturity with effortless set

It takes years to look this effortless. But then as Frank Skinner repeatedly mentions during the West End opening of Showbiz, he is almost 63. From the moment he ambles on, however, you know you are watching a master of stand-up as well as the owner of a free London bus pass.

There is no grand theme. There are some title-justifying anecdotes about Bruce Forsyth, The Krankies and Elton John and an impression of Ella Fitzgerald as heard through a bedsit wall, but much of the 90 minutes feels like Skinner merely shooting the breeze. The funniest bloke in the pub transplanted to the stage.

So we get urinal etiquette, parenthood, ubers, and, peppered throughout, reflections on ageing. Even when the topics are predictable, the comedic trajectory is unexpected. When he referenced his dodgy shoulder and a sporting event in succession I expected a lame quip about competing in the Paralympics. Skinner’s punchline was a cleverer curveball.

Old school stand-up does not get any better. He is just as strong going off-piste doing quick-fire crowdwork as when sticking to his script. If you sit at the front not only will you enjoy an excellent show, you might find yourself in it.

Until February 15 (0330 333 4811;