For someone who contributed material toward the infamous Jerry Springer opera, and entitles his latest show “If you prefer a milder comedian, please ask for one”, it is not unreasonable to expect Stewart Lee to be a little outrageous, outspoken and offensive.

However, his subjects include chain coffee shops, advertising, middle-aged (and middle- class) emigration and TV shows; it’s hardly going to rival Jimmy Carr in the headline-grabbing stakes. Indeed, when he pours scorn on fellow stand-up Frankie Boyle’s recent remark that comedians should retire from the mike at 40 (a school of thought that believes stand-ups lose their anger, and their subsequent raison d’etre in middle age), you kind of wonder if Boyle may have a point.

Yet the beauty of Lee’s show is he is as funny, spirited and angry as any of the circuit’s top (and/or most fashionable) comics, despite his prosaic choice of subjects. This was shown not least in the climax to his 75-minute set, when he dropped his microphone in disgust (to a loud clatter), and took to the audience, shouting and screaming the rest of his routine with a voice that echoed around the not inconsiderably sized Regal. The impact was doubled by the comedian’s position, directly in front of me on the remaining few of the venue’s empty seats. He managed to transcend any potential blandness and, by doing this, made his comedy even more special.

Indeed, it was a set full of deviation. Lee’s delivery tends to be calm, slow, considered and deadpan. He builds well-timed repetition into his routines. Yet, for effect, he breaks out into vitriolic rants. Unexpectedly, he ended the show with a cover of a folk song. And he also delivered quite a shocking, and vengeful, routine concerning a certain popular television programme involving cars.

Stewart Lee knows he’s getting older, and adjusts his subjects to reflect that. However, it’s his intelligence, his creativity and his fire that enliven the material, providing an honest, heartfelt and hilarious evening.