Despite the Blu-ray's similar cover art to the accompanying album
(which I've also reviewed), they are different shows. Although from the same tour, the latter contains just the songs from a gig at the Manchester Arena whereas this is a complete concert at the Royal Albert Hall, recorded in April 2011.
The bonus here is that you also get to see Tim Minchin perform his unique style of stand-up in between the compositions. He tackles subjects that would cause other comedians to draw a line; however, he does it in an intelligent way that not only makes you laugh but also gives you food for thought afterwards.
Minchin employs his expletives creatively and none more so than in his f-word-laden "Pope Song", which (once you get past the opening tirade) makes a serious point about scandal within the Catholic Church. He indicates within its lyrics that there is a correlation between the amount of bad language and the anger he felt.
The Heritage Orchestra provides Minchin with the perfect platform for his virtuoso piano skills, particularly during his epic show-closer, "Dark Side". It allows him to play the instrument more freely instead of it being just his backing accompaniment and new arrangements enhance some of his older material.
From the start it's plain that the audience didn't quite know what to expect and initially seem a bit bemused at the unusual combination of taboo wordplay and dazzling musicality. At first there is polite applause but by the second half Minchin's won them over. They dance in the aisles, give him a standing ovation and during his final encore, the poignant "White Wine in the Sun", even applaud individual lines.
Through his undoubted talent and love of his craft, Tim Minchin has shown himself to be a musical comedy genius. This Blu-ray is a memento of a great night out and I wish I'd been there. The picture is first-rate; sound is DTS-HD 5.1 (select it from the menu beforehand, otherwise it defaults to 2.0 stereo). Bonus features include a couple of rehearsal featurettes and the animated version of Minchin's brilliant ten-minute beat poem, "Storm".