As someone who is not British and doesn’t belong to the generation that made Frank Skinner famous, I walked into Frank Skinner: 30 Years of Dirt without expectations or biases. I appreciated his irreverence, stage presence, and improvisational skills, but simultaneously, I mainly felt detached from the material he covered and even confused at times.
Frank Skinner: 30 Years of Dirt is essentially a chat about himself, about his past, memories, anecdotes, and a lot of self-irony, but very little dirtiness. Instead of a bag of dirt, it resembles a gathering of old friends reminiscing about the good old times when discussing the trendiest table centrepiece still made sense. I mainly noticed people much older than me, baby boomers and the so-called Generation X, laughing heartily in the audience. Their laughter wasn’t just out of sympathy or fondness but genuine amusement. There were only a few people from my generation and even fewer from the younger crowd.
Frank Skinner: 30 Years of Dirt felt like a mixed bag. It hangs in the balance between humour that still works for many but fails to attract new audiences, destined to fade as it struggles to refresh its content and cultural references. But can we blame it? Frank Skinner is objectively impeccable on stage, and for his target audience, he entertains and is entertained, even going over the scheduled time by about ten minutes.
Frank Skinner: 30 Years of Dirt was a unique experience for a viewer like me, feeling pulled into a culture and a time whose references I couldn’t fully grasp. Nonetheless, I enjoyed a solid hour of well-constructed frivolities presented with wit and intelligence.