Comedy at The Wardrobe

Mon 10th – Fri 14th February 2014

reviews

Loren Davy

at 23:38 on 24th Jan 2013

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The Wardrobe Theatre above the White Bear on St Michaels Hill hosts this comedy night every couple of weeks to give local amateur comics a chance to perform alongside professionals trying out new material.

It's a winning formula: 2.5 hours of live comedy, above a pub, with enough breaks to actually have a couple of pints all for under a fiver.

The place is cozy, front-room cozy, so much so that I was a bit worried it might be like watching my pissed uncle tell jokes straight out of a cracker on Christmas Day. But, from the moment the lively compere Mark Evans bounded on stage, with seemingly limitless energy, I felt reassured. The front row were less so as he immediately turned on them. (Everyone knows, its the number one rule of watching stand up, never sit in the front row!)

First on stage, Sally Anne Hayward was testing new material, and this detracted from the fluidity of her performance, but its a tough gig going first, and she did a good job, getting a good few laughs and generally charming the audience. She was followed by Dave Green, a self-deprecating deadpan comedian, who's first few minutes had me in stitches but seemed to peter out a little towards the end of his set.

After the first "booze break" came Micky Baker - self proclaimed "turkey baster love-child of Gok Wan and Sue Perkins", and he really did look like it.

I have to pause here to quickly have a little rant about something - what is it about comedians and microphone stands? They literally cannot leave them alone! Throughout this show every single comic leaned on it, fiddled with it, twiddled its nobs, moved it up and down, 'thunked' and swung it. This is not only distracting but also meant that the entire show was punctuated by a series of thuds and bumps. That said it was perhaps the only downside to an otherwise fantastic evening.

After Micky, who's opening line was the most memorable part of his set, came Angus Barr. Possibly my highlight of the evening, Angus is a comedian singer-songwriter with one of the those faces and personas that is bound to make people laugh. His beautifully crafted compositions included the delightfully named ditty; "Jesus was a twat!", an Ode to a Plastic Bag and his own version of a national anthem highlighting the joys of being British (in summary: anally retentive drunks who start fights abroad). They were all delivered, dressed in unassuming tweed, with impeccable pathos, timing and no small measure of genuine musical talent.

The final act Sean Mcloughlin, after booze break number two, was manically, angrily, brilliant. His tales of a his life being skint, with no love life, failed aspirations to a life of fame and glory and the obesity and stupidity of Americans, could have been spectacularly unoriginal. Yet, they had an authenticity that I have seen too few comedians pull off. His tales actually seemed to resonate with the people in the audience. And, he was funny. Really funny.

At the end, I left the pub with pleasantly aching cheeks, the perfect amount of fuzziness in my brain from the beer breaks and the overall feeling that this little tucked away comedy night was going to become a regular for me and my friends.

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