11/3/15 NCF £1 new talent/new material night. This is one of my favourite shows and in some respects, beats seeing big names in an arena. Tonight wasn’t the best I’ve seen it, although it was nice to see it sell out again. There wasn’t a lot of energy in the room, which may be down to the compere, as although he was competent, he was quite laconic in style. Josh Pugh was first act and delivered puns, but unfortunately the set up was a bit too long for the actua…l pun delivered – this will improve with experience. Matt Hollins was trying new material, but a lot of it didn’t seem to work out and that is part and parcel of a new material night. The next chap was Owen Morris who did a clever set, which should have gotten a bigger response than it did, but which the somewhat flat atmosphere is to blame for. A newcomer was next, a girl called Maz. She spoke about a lot of personal biographical stuff very quickly and at times it felt like a self-help group. Stu Woodings closed the middle section and he was more confident and polished than many. He had a good routine that hung together well and again didn’t seem to get the laughs it deserved. Dave Bryan opened the final section. He’s a Cockney with a good delivery, but needs more original material. Jokes about premature ejaculation being touch and go have been old hat for a while, same as being caught peeing in a swimming pool – whilst on the diving board (most famously used in Only Fools and Horses). Pete Phillipson closed and is a very talented mimic, which helped his act. He also ended on a good strong joke. The most interesting act to me, though, was the penultimate one – Jack Boyles. I’ve seen him three times and will admit the first two times he didn’t make a huge impression. However, tonight he was doing some new material which worked extremely well and he was getting laughs, which started out small, then became bigger and he was building up a head of steam. However, he then received an unwarranted heckle, which spoilt his momentum and which I hope he doesn’t take to heart. I thought him much improved, but I would ask whether his extremely downbeat/depressing persona is hurting his comedy, rather than helping it.