Sandi Toksvig: Next Slide Please – Festival Theatre

Rating: 4 out of 5.

There’s something about a slide isn’t there? An antiquity, they were tools used by teachers and bosses to present dullard facts for us to cram knowledge. Of recent, Chris Whitty made a catchphrase out of ‘Next Slide Please’ as the nation faced the realities of the growing Pandemic. But this slide show of sorts, presented by the nation’s favourite Dane – Brigitte Nielsen Sandi Toksvig, claims back the cycle of photos and facts to satiate our curiosities and offer an evening of utter hilarity. 

There’s a loose thread of topics which Toksvig whisks us through, supplied by her dangerous habit of a snifter of drinking and the endless realms of online purchases. From the painfully hilarious How To Talk To Your Cat About Gun Safety (no points for the country of origin) to the perplexing Pet Goats And Pap Smears, it quickly becomes clear that those hoodwinked by Toksvig’s more intellectually magnificent exterior QI persona will be pleased to discover that Next Slide Please is an embracement of the silly, the ludicrous, and the quite simply – fun.

But, touchingly, and in a pleasant aura of returning audiences from elated heights of humour to a more relaxed state, Toksvig’s newfound pleasure of forest bathing and Toksvig and her wife’s move from London to an area saturated with woodland instils just what the public adore about Toksvig away from her evident wit, determination, and hopeful sense of optimism for the future. It parcels Next Slide Please as a rounded affair, more like a seminar or talk show than the traditional stand-up piece.

But that’s not to dismiss the humour, which next fades. It dips from slight giggles to raucous laughter, with occasional audience involvement to offer a more intimate and local sense of humour. Toksvig’s humour relies more on experience and a measure of quick-thinking than the obtuse or insult based. That’s not to say there aren’t a few rib-ticklers of the more risqué variety, but with Toksvig, there’s a more playful and childish aspect to the jokes than harmful.

‘Av a Plopp. By which we mean there are prizes! Continuing from her National Trevor badge hand-outs for audience participation, Toksvig is a serious fan of participation and a bit of a natter with her audience. And frankly, if the radiating charm of Toksvig was not already evident to watchers, the playful nature and genuine curiosity she shares with visitors to the Festival Theatre is a touching reinforcer of how excited Toksvig is to be out and with her fans.

And to stress, there are no derision or trick cheap shots with the audience – there’s a sincerity and genuine interest in sharing stories and claiming prizes for sharing; from the presentation of a ‘Next Slide Please’ pencil for those who share their new hobbies and Lockdown adventure antics to the aforementioned Plopp – a fun-sized Danish chocolate treat.

Next Slide Please is a pleasant and beguiling evening of comedy and storytelling, filled with all the fun-filled facts and trivial anecdotes the host of QI could muster. Toksvig’s warming nature encourages a plethora of stories and experiences from the audience, and though we may not all walk away with a Plopp, we do all walk away with a refreshment of ourselves, a belly filled with laughs, and the reality that it’s just rather nice to be out.

‘Walk away with a smile and a Plopp’

For further information on Sandi Toksvig’s tours, please visit their website here.

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