Lenny Henry

Opened 11 November 2003, Closed 29 November 2003 at the Wyndham's Theatre in London

The comedian Lenny Henry in London with his new show So Much Things To Say for three weeks only.

Lenny Henry's new show So Much Things to Say tackles parents, children, love, sex, war (huh, what is it good for, absolutely nothing, say it again... actually better not) and Sixties Ska music. It's a rip roaring tour de force of character comedy, brought to you by the man himself... Lenny Henry. This new stage show is directed by Theatre de Complicite's Simon McBurney. Presented as part of the 'Kings of Comedy' Season which includes Bill Bailey and Michael Barrymore.

"Two figures go toe to toe in Lenny Henry's new show, So Much Things to Say. One is the cuddly light entertainer we have come to know so well. The other is moodier and more interesting. Watching the two of them battle it out can be frustrating: Henry seems simply too nice to push his audiences too hard; the winning smile is never far from the surface. Stick with him, though: his brave attempt to combine stand-up with dramatic monologues produces some intriguing theatre... Despite help from a "creative consultant", Simon McBurney, the transitions from one-liners to more intense dramatic material are sometimes awkward... Still, his star quality carries him through, and once we have made the acquaintance of a Harlesden newsagent, his family and oldest friends, the show rapidly gains momentum in the second half." The Times

"So Much Things to Say contains little in the way of self-exposure, unless you count the odd droll aside about wife Dawn French. The death of his mother, his depression, and the tabloid frenzy over his private life stay firmly under wraps. And yet the evening feels revelatory: here at last is a Lenny Henry who, though as brimful of energy as ever, acts his 45 years. For two hours, you're held transfixed by a comic reaching the height of his powers, one capable of moments of unexpected pathos and insight. Theatrical adventurousness abounds. Henry switches effortlessly between his on-stage persona, various brilliant impressions and half a dozen new characters: a grouchy newsagent, a faded stud, a Right-wing lawyer, a para in Iraq and a melancholic housewife. At the end, they all converge in a frantic one-man soap opera." The Daily Telegraph

"His West End show looks like stand-up and in the first half he rambles through the standard material about mobile phones, talking lifts and garage flowers as well as some sharper stuff about being black in a white world and life as Mr Dawn French. His old characters Delbert Wilkins and Theophilus P Wildebeeste have been replaced by five inter-related folk from Harlesden and the pace slackens in the second half as he introduces them. Then we are caught in a whirlwind of theatrical invention as he brings them all together on stage, holding a three-way phone conversation and at one stage beating himself up. It is a masterful performance, tying up the threads of his stand-up patter." The Daily Express

Lenny Henry in London at the Wyndham's Theatre opened on 11 November 2003 and closed on 29 November 2003.