Miranda Hart, Phones4U Arena, Saturday 15 March
Monday 17th March 2014 @ 08:00 by Max Wieland

As 16,000 people departed Manchester’s Phones4U Arena at around 10.30pm last Saturday night, you might have been forgiven for thinking the world had gone slightly mad.

Unless of course you were part of the crowd that had just witnessed Miranda Hart play to the people of Manchester and beyond for the third and final time.

For a comedienne who was embarking on her first ever stand-up tour, she was certainly ambitious in pitching it at some of the country’s biggest venues.

But such is her popularity at the moment that she could probably have sold out the Phones4U Arena another three times or more at least.

Her confidence matched the scale of her tour, looking naturally at ease as she guided the female dominant audience through her posh party theme.

Performing to a backdrop of balloons alongside a small buffet whilst encouraging communal singing to spice things up, Hart’s audience was lapping up her every word to the point where she had the majority of the arena on their feet dancing to Whigfield’s Saturday Night and singing along to Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive.

Her My, What I Call, Live Show was as pleasant viewing as it was amusing.

If you have ever seen Hart’s BBC sitcom Miranda then the pace of her show was very similar and if you haven’t, then it was largely pedestrian, more of a tea party than a children’s party.

“I think the last time I really enjoyed a party without worrying was when I was six,” she recollects. “At that age, if you wet your pants, you just take them off and crack on.

“In your 40s, people are less forgiving.”

Her ad-libs were just as excellent but outshone too much of her routine, which on the whole was slightly similar to what her fans may have already seen before.

It’s understandable that the 48,000 people who came to see Miranda throughout her three performances at the Arena would not have minded that,  simply because it was shown clearly by the reaction she received on Saturday.

But parts of the night definitely would have benefited from a break-away from her structured ‘such fun’ catchphrase themed party. Her excessive jokes about farts ultimately felt tired but her physical humour undoubtedly left its mark.

For as the masses departed into the heart of Manchester last Saturday, all one could see was a steady stream of galloping, mimicking the comediennes silly walks and tales of how more people should gallop through life instead of walking.

Her show had ultimately lifted everyone’s spirits to a point where they felt liberated enough to horse about the streets of Manchester, and that was thanks to a show that did not rely on too much self-mockery or crude jokes.

Her friendly engagement with the audience was just enough to not feel like you were at a pantomime and not too much to distract from her routine.

Miranda’s bonkers personality shone through to the point where everyone was acting slightly mad towards the end of the show, although if she is to embark on such a tour again, it would be nice to see a bit more of Miranda Hart, rather than the character she portrays so well in her extremely popular sitcom.

–  The tour reaches Glasgow tonight (17) and tomorrow (18) before finishing in London on the 12 April.