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The Armstrong & Miller Show Live (Manchester)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Xander Armstrong and Ben Miller have become best known for their airmen talking slang sketch which is not only a huge hit in their BBC show but also on youtube.

Like Little Britain Live, the danger is that this becomes signature piece and the rest of the show acts as padding, the duo themselves allude to this within their two hour laughter-thon. Luckily Xander and Ben's likeability and fantastic chemistry keeps this patchy live show going at full pelt throughout.

There are some incredibly funny moments, involving far more than the famous pilots. I particularly enjoyed the How Many Hats sketch which sends up the hyperbole which surrounds X Factor. So we get a huge build up to this panel show and then watch in dismay as the 'celebrities' guess how many hats people are wearing on a screen - ala A Question Of Sport. 

Other highlights include Armstrong's creepy dentist who surprises a willing audience member and Pru and Miranda which serves as an excuse to throw lots of food at the audience - inspired, as adapting this for the stage sees fans ducking from the flying bread, giggling.

But there are a few downsides, The World Of Fightcraft videos which cover costume changes start to grate as they are unfunny unless you adore Benny Hill. Also, some of the song and dance elements go on far too long and appear awkward. The end song though works wonders as Xander mingles with the audience and for fans, this is a real treat.

Ultimately, the skits need rejigging as some of them simply do not make the grade. But when this duo do hit their comedy stride, the result is utterly infectious.

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