Alan Davies a 'bloody funny' man
Life is Pain. One day everyone you love will betray you. These words came from a child Alan Davies knew. The first idea inspired the name of his first stand-up show in more than a decade.
Thank goodness it's nowhere near as dark as the idea would suggest.
Davies - the familiar face from TV shows like Jonathan Creek and QI - has been off the stand-up scene for a while, and away from New Zealand even longer, but the sell out show at Auckland's Town Hall proves it's all still there - mostly.
He does let us in on the secrets of the stand-up world: "If I walk over here to get a drink it's because I've forgotten what comes next and I'm looking at these notes on the wall".
He only needed the list the once, because the joy of Davies is his ability to weave in and out of a story, of many stories.
From lesbian dogs to wearing hot pants to primary school, Davies relays tales of his childhood in Essex right through to a glorious rant about current struggles with social media and just what it means when a baby is crying.
The thing about listening to a 46-year-old man from England revisiting his life, is that a lot of it is familiar.
If you don't have kids, you know what one is. If you haven't been cottaging, well, it's always good to learn new things.
But Davies is at his finest just talking to the crowd.
He says, "this is the bit you don't pay for", but his ability to be natural, to be interested and to involve the audience without anyone having to squirm, is utterly charming.
Within minutes of wandering on-stage, Davies has termed the night a town meeting - it all fits, from the Town Hall setting, through to the late-comers complaining about Auckland's transport, to comparing which suburb in Auckland has a bigger turn out (Mt Albert was very well represented).
Davies isn't reinventing the wheel or pushing boundaries, what he is doing perfectly well though, is being bloody funny. He is consistently giggling at his own jokes, but then so are the punters.
ALAN DAVIES - LIFE IS PAIN TOUR
WHEN: February 1
WHERE: Auckland Town Hall
The tour continues around New Zealand