Ryan McDonnell, Discount Comedy Checkout, Jake Baker, Jake Lambert, Matt Redmond and Tom Lucy

Funhouse Comedy Derby at the Blessington Carriage. This is a bit of a sprawling pub and the function room is hidden away upstairs. It’s a bit of a spartan room, but not a bad place for a gig. Compere was Spiky Mike.

Opening was the 18 year old Tom Lucy who suffered a tad from going on first. He had a pretty good routine and plenty of non-verbal audience interaction – eye contact and nods to the audience, which gave him a nice presence in the room. I’m looking forwards to seeing how he develops as I felt he did well.

2nd on was Matt Redmond a comedy magician. I felt that he was better at magic than comedy. His skills as a magician were good, but his comedy was a series of Christmas cracker gags that only Tim Vine can pull off well. He may be better building his magic around a longer routine style gag with the punch line being emphasised by the culmination of a magic trick.

Jake Lambert opened after the intermission and totally smashed the gig. He had the happy combination of great material, confidence and great timing. The high point on a great set was the tale of his Uni housemate, this is one of the best routines I’ve heard recently. I also enjoyed how you couldn’t predict the direction he was going to go in. I understand he has been signed by Off the Kerb and I’m not surprised in the least.

Jake Baker was unfortunate in following such a strong act. He had decent material that was delivered well. Some of the dark material could have gone badly in a different room, but it worked and got laughs and there is certainly room for comedians doing dark risky material.

Discount Comedy Checkout are an improv group, similar to The noise next door, but without music. They are a talented group of individuals who managed to breathe life into the various scenarios suggested by the audience. The comedy was drawn in broad strokes, but was a success.

Headlining was Ryan McDonnell, who is an amiable Irishman. He had a relaxing feel good set that sent everyone out into the world happier than they had been. He covered a lot of areas, getting consistent good laughs and a gem of an answer from a member of the audience.


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