You might think that after so many visits to Brighton, including three last year, Stewart Lee would be comfortable in the familiar right-on cocoon of Brighton.

But the veteran stand-up derided the sold-out Dome from the moment he took the stage, mercilessly mocking the audience for “not knowing any things” and for being too stupid to appreciate the sophistication of his writing.

Such an aggressive approach would be suicide for almost anyone else, but for Lee it was all part of the act.

You got the real impression he hoped the Mock the Week loving newbie would be thoroughly alienated, while he took pride in quoting a zero star review from the Daily Telegraph.

Delving into the tragi-comic, he took particular glee in mentally unravelling and acting out a slow death on stage.

Even the untimely deaths of comic friends were mined for material - mainly to lambast audiences for pushing his peers to suicide.

This was the final leg of shows which will become his fourth Comedy Vehicle series on BBC. Aside from the meta diversions there were some very funny jokes too – delivered in Lee’s inimitable deadpan style.

Still on a slow-rising career trajectory spanning 27 years, Lee never made anything easy for his audience.

But though Lee's stand-up persona would be borderline sociopathic in reality, as a comic creation it was outright hilarious.

Four stars