Current Mood doesn’t have an especially strong theme or structure to it and it doesn’t really pretend to. It’s just an hour of a really good comedian sharing jokes and stories. Langford is a new father so there’s quite a bit of parenting and “stupid sh*t kids do”, which goes down well with the warm Wellington crowd. It feels like exactly what is promised; some musings on the current mood.
Langford is genuinely funny, and while the jokes are rock solid and entertaining, the highlights of the show are his crowd work. He’s extremely attuned to audience noise and leaves nothing unacknowledged. Right from his first bit of audience interaction, he makes it clear that he wants us to talk back and engage with him saying “now I’ve been in a conversation before, and I’m pretty sure it’s your turn”. A great line which set the tone for some lovely and hilarious moments throughout the performance.
Highlights were a niche conversation about a small Welsh town with a fellow Cymro in the audience, and a discussion with a couple in the front row about what traits annoy each other. He holds us well, and is clearly in pursuit of playful fun, never a victim to laugh at.
Now look, I am a lover of narrative and always hunting for the themes and throughlines, so I often feel a stand-up show which doesn’t have that overarching craft is missing something, but Current Mood doesn’t need it. It feels like being at the pub with a particularly entertaining mate leading the conversation and that’s just what the Comedy Festival is about.
Along with the fab crowd work, my favourite part of the gig was the ending. Langford gave the coldest close I’ve ever seen. It began with “Well, I’m sposed to do an hour and I think I have” and ended with him giving random recommendations to the audience including a local Turkish restaurant and…the bucket fountain? He eventually just said “thanks” and left the stage. It was so delightfully awkward and fit the Sunday night vibes perfectly. It’s not something I would recommend to comics as a general rule, but the conversational nature of the show meant that it was surprisingly natural.
Langford is now based in Australia so we may well see him on our shores more regularly in the coming years. If you want to see a top notch international comic just being authentically and unapologetically funny then I get the sense he will always deliver a good show and is well worth your time.
Lloyd Langford: Current Mood was for one night only at San Fran on May 7 2023, and is performing a single show at Q Theatre in Auckland tonight.