It was late on Thursday when I walked up to The Classic Studio, to see veteran comic Neil Thornton, and his Circus of Shame, a thought provoking examination of the concept of shame, both his own, and in culture in general.

In this Thornton delves into his own history, examining embarrassing experiences and the roots of sense of shame, exploring how his environment has made him feel shame, and how popular culture and societies institutions affect the image of oneself.

Thornton displays this using his absolute mastery of the craft, both in writing and performance. Thornton’s material was tight and engaging, weaving in candid tales from his life and fitting observations on the state of the world. His performance was akin to an entertaining ramble, with carefully placed punchlines. Thornton applied his skill in tone and pacing to keep the audience on its toes, like a seasoned boxer lining up for his next blow.

Circus Of Shame is a mixture fantastic commentary on politics and culture, and immersive story telling, Thornton has a skill in taking you on a journey and delivering a satisfying resolution, whether that be the punchline of a joke or the climax of an hour long show.

Recommended for fans of candid comedy.


What: Circus Of Shame

Who: Neil Thornton


When:  10:00PM 6 – 8 May

Where: The Classic Studio


When: 8:45PM 11 – 15 May

Where: Cavern Club

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