Another solid entry in Stewart Lee's formidable catalogue, the clue to Carpet Remnant World is laid out early on - this isn't a collection of neat 'bits' that can seamlessly be woven into 'Best of' this or 'Top 100' that. Despite Lee's insistence he has nothing, this show has everything, as well he knows. Most curiously, this set explores among other things, the idea of Stewart Lee the character; beyond simple stand up, this is Lee as the stand up trying to perform stand up, simultaneously a comedy set and a commentary on the same set, from the eyes of a stand up trying and failing, but in doing so succeeding. It would be unfair, as well as an unforgivable cliche, to say you won't like it if you don't Get It, but there is certainly effort asked of the audience, and a masterful set delivered for your investment.
Four stars, then. Why? I felt the element of Lee the character, while brilliantly devised and executed, was more divisive and exclusive than it needed to be. Lee's always danced on the edge of comedy by definition and audience patience thresholds, and this occasionally feels like it does actually require the sense of loss from some of his audience for the rest to fully embrace it. That sense of exclusivity cooled the underlying warmth of his pretend bitterness. It's a petty criticism and one you probably won't be bothered by too much, but that - combined with two or three minor parts of the show that Lee's performed before - just stopped this from being as good as Milder Comedian.
That said, this is a terrific performance, head and shoulders above all the Russells combined.