David Baddiel - My Family: Not the Sitcom

Previewed 10 May 2016, Opened 17 May 2016, Closed 25 June 2016 at the Menier Chocolate Factory
Previewed 12 September 2016, Opened 15 September 2016, Closed 15 October 2016 at the Vaudeville Theatre
Previewed 28 March 2017, Opened 30 March 2017, Closed 3 June 2017 at the Playhouse Theatre

David Baddiel's 'massively disrespectful celebration' of the lives of his parent's - his late mother, Sarah, and dementia-ridden father, Colin - back in London's West End by public demand.

A show about memory, ageing, infidelity, dysfunctional relatives, and moral policing on social media. When family members die, or are lost to dementia, all we tend to say about them is that they were wonderful. But if that is all you can say about them, you may as well say nothing: to truly remember our loved ones, you have to call up their weirdnesses, their madnesses, their flaws. Because the dead, despite what we may think, are not angels. Come and be offended on David's behalf.

This solo show is written and performed by the comedian David Baddiel and returns to London following a five week season at the Vaudeville Theatre in September 2016. This production was originally seen for a completely sold-out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory in May 2016. Directed by David Baddiel with designs by Declan Randall. David Baddiel's West End credits include Baddiel And Skinner - Unplanned with Frank Skinner at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 2001. PLEASE NOTE: this is an adult show due to explicit language.

When the production opened at the Menier Chocolate Factory in May 2016, Bruce Dessau in The London Evening Standard hailed the "a brilliant cocktail of smutty revelations, smart insights and hilarious nitpicking about grammar... This is a rare production that boasts side-splitting laughs and also moves people to tears as Baddiel reminds us his mother was more than just wonderful. So is this show." Alice Jones in The i Newspaper wrote that, "for all its theatrical setting, this is a consummate stand-up set in two halves. It takes as it shocking, sad and improbably very funny subject matter Baddiel's mother, who died two years ago, and his father, who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of dementia around the same time... Baddiel is not the first to do a stand-up show about the loss of a parent but it's rare to see one that draws its subject as honestly, vividly and humorously as this." Chris Bennion in The Daily Telegraph described how "David Baddiel has created a warm, enjoyably ramshackle and, curiously, very rude show about his mother and father. Not about him. Not about how his mother's death and his father's disease have affected Baddiel the son. But about them. It is, thank goodness, a celebration of life, rather than a drawn-out navel-gaze about death... Baddiel's parents' lives, as he describes them, were joyously impossible to define. When he forgets the shrink's-couch speech and embraces the chaos, it's a show that bubbles with love and unexpected joie de vivre." Dominic Maxwell in The Times praised it as being "a hugely funny show pitched somewhere between eulogy and comedy roast... if you are going to disrespect the dead and the incapacitated, do it like this: truthfully, inventively and, finally, lovingly." Quentin Letts in The Daily Mail commented that "Mr Baddiel is a comedian and there are few things needier than a comedian in search of fresh material. He boasts about truthfulness but does not admit he may be mining his family story for the narcotic of public attention... Mr Baddiel delivers his spiel slickly. I am not much of a fan of his Mockney, grungy, F-word flecked stuff but many are. The whole thing just made me feel sad, for Mr Baddiel himself and for his wider family." Neil Norman in The Daily Express held that "David Baddiel is tremendously engaging and very funny and in 'trying to break the restrictions of what you can talk about' he is that odd combination of cruel and sentimental, cynical and sincere." Ian Shuttleworth in The Financial Times said that "every so often you encounter a solo show that, no matter how well written or performed, how compelling or affecting in its own right, is fairly obviously, at root, therapy for its maker... Fundamentally this is David Baddiel's way of coping with his mother's death and his father's developing dementia." Michael Billington in The Guardian explained that "the show is compelling to watch both for its unvarnished truth and complicated affection... whatever the moral issues raised by David Baddiel's monologue, it is rivetingly revealing and it says a lot about the man himself that he seems more outraged by his mother's dubious grammar than by her clandestine affair."

"David Baddiel calls this one-man show a 'twisted love letter to my parents'. In it, he pulls off something extraordinary: we see the riotously funny side of having a late mother who was wild, whirling and sex-obsessed and a father, still alive but in the grip of Pick's disease, a type of dementia that makes him a Tourette's-y, super-shocking and Spitting Image version of the already rude, sweary man he used to be... He makes one feel freer to admit to, and even laugh at, the idiosyncrasies of one's own dysfunctional family, which is something of a triumph. Highly recommended." The Mail on Sunday

"I've always thought of David Baddiel as a humorist rather than a comedian. Humorists amuse. Comedians make you laugh. But with this second stand-up show in two years, Baddiel launches himself into the Louis CK league of no-holds-barred comedy with a set so open about his mother's sex life and his father's dementia, he admits his children, aged 15 and 11, are banned from seeing it. 'The dead are not angels,' declares the comic in relation to his late mum. And to prove it he plays clips from his Fantasy Football TV show in which co-presenter Frank Skinner agrees to Baddiel's mother joining them on stage, only for her to reveal her admiration for women who masturbate in public. Wearing black jeans and jacket, Baddiel strolls around a stage bedecked with family photos like an Apple exec at a launch event, spilling family secrets that any other celebrity would keep under wraps with an injunction. He reveals knowledge about his parents - and their porn collection! - that no son would ever want to know. It's enough to alienate an audience. In that sense this is dangerous stuff. But then the best comedy often is." The London Metro

"There's something uncomfortable about sitting in a theatre while a middle-aged man reads the sexually explicit emails his recently deceased mother once wrote to her lover. In this one-man confessional, David Baddiel goes on to criticise her for her misuse of inverted commas, and points out that one email was cc-ed - accidentally? - to him and his brother. This is not how mothers are supposed to be treated, but it is also shockingly funny... Some might go to a therapist, but Baddiel prefers to record his embarrassment (visible in the clips he plays) and to celebrate his parents' eccentricities." The Sunday Times

My Family: Not the Sitcom - David Baddiel in London at the Playhouse Theatre previewed from 28 March 2017, opened on 30 March 2017 and closed on 3 June 2017.