NCF £1 night at the Canal House. An eventful night, involving a fracas, me getting stuck in a car park and 9 comedians. First up was Matt Francis, who looked a bit like a young Jim Davidson. He had too many erms and never got into a run, and probably shouldn’t have tried to get that much interaction with a cold audience. He also tended to face one side of the room. Jared Shooter had a good night and impressed me. He has an easy charm and a strong line in puns, but may wan…t to be more concise in his anecdotes for them to hit home better. Ben Briggs had a decent night, although his new material with the fan needed an ending. He was unfortunate in the wording of some of his dark material, which caused a small fracas – if he had phrased it differently it wouldn’t have kicked off. Wayne Lawrence was very competent and funny with some good jokes, but he never interacted with the audience and could have been performing at home in front of a mirror – there was no spark – with the interaction he would have reaped a really good dividend. All it would have taken was an acknowledgement of the crowd being there. Stella Graham had what appeared to be a work in progress – this gig does attract new comedians, indeed that is the aim. To my mind, the material was a bit lightweight, but given work, she will do well. Rob Kemp had a good night with an eclectic set, he has a lot of charm and energy and interacted superbly with the audience, but some of his set pieces need an edit to tie them up. Winter Foenander had a good finish, but this was the highlight of his set. He was decent, but just seemed to miss the mark. Jack Shannon was good with his puns and his gags, but his set seemed to constantly totter on the brink of disintegration as he never stamped his authority over the audience whilst interacting with them. Patrick Draper closed. This is the 3rd time I’ve seen him, in the 3rd venue and on 3 different styles of gigs. He has improved every time and was very sharp tonight. There was never any doubt he was in control of the room. He had a good set, but it was the delivery, mastery of the room (especially compared to the previous act) and his reactions to the audience that impressed me most. I’ve only seen him do 10 spots, so far, but I’d be interested in seeing what he could do with a 20 spot.