It was 12 years since I last saw The League of Gentlemen live in Cardiff. Twelve years since the disturbingly hilarious group were on tour.

Twelve years is a long time in showbusiness. Would other successful projects in the intervening years have diluted what fans love about TLOG?

From the moment Legz Akimbo Theatre Company got the evening off to a brisk, rapped start, the action kept up its manic pace for a full two hours, and we all knew TLOG still had it.

This was a celebration of all things League of Gentlemen.

Midway through their mammoth 46-date tour Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith and non-performing Jeremy Dyson, distilled some of their very best anarchic comedy honed over almost three decades into a heady show.

Familiar to TV viewers, the Royston Vasey boys delivered their dark and brooding material in two glorious, lip smackingly un-PC helpings.

The first half, with the cast of three dressed in dinner suits throughout, brought us the wonderful Legz Akimbo, the mind-bogglingly anarchic Go Johnny Go Go Go card game, Olive’s catastrophic dating agency, and a doom-laden Mordant Mick McNamara giving his latest Royston Vasey Terror Tour with a twist – to name but a few of the quick-fire sketches we were treated to.

As the curtain went up for the second half, there were whoops and squeals from the near-capacity audience as we were transported into the heart of Royston Vasey to meet some old and gorgeously familiar friends.

Tubbs, condemned to being a wife in a mine by Papa Lazarou, was serenaded in true musical theatre style by husband/brother Edward from a suspended photo booth arrangement.

Possibly the biggest cheer of the evening, although Pauline from the Job Centre could well argue with that, was for Pemberton’s Herr Lipp – especially when he came among the crowd to gather a couple for his wonderfully naughty innuendo-laced German lesson.

The trio, The League of Gentlemen, were clearly spent and totally exhausted at the end when a spontaneous standing ovation throughout the arena saw them take a double curtain call amid a hail of cheers, applause and warm goodwill.

If this tour is indeed to be The League of Gentlemen curtain call they have most certainly left their best to last.

There’s a small number of tickets available in Cardiff for tonight so don’t think twice grab this perhaps one of the last chances to see these very great actors at what is certainly the peak of their phenomenal performing powers. Call the Box Office on 029 2022 4488 to get yours.

David Barnes