Funhouse Comedy Clubs- East Midlands Admiral Rodney gig in Southwell. This is the first time I’ve been and this gig hasn’t been sold out. There weren’t many empty seats, but as they were all at the front, it seemed emptier than what it really was. This gig attracts a nice polite crowd and very few heckles or shout outs. Tonight was no exception. The room is quite long and narrow, so by necessity, the stage is in the middle. The downside to this is that acts have a 180 degree …audience and so can look as if they are watching a tennis match as they swing from side to side.
The opening act was George Egg, a prop comic with loads of visual gags. It’s important to get a good seat with a view for his set, as otherwise you are in danger of missing some good material. A lot of his opening parts are silent, but work well due to this, as the audience are watching intently, seeing what he is going to pull out of his case next. He is great working with an audience, getting people clapping and chanting his name. In my experience not many people opening a gig can get members of the audience to admit they drove or walked there, let alone the response he was getting. He had a really good night and was well received. As an opening act, getting the room going this man is ideal and I’m sure he’d work as a closer, too. Luckily there was an intermission, as anyone following him would suffer from the change of pace.
Jack Campbell was next. He did well, working with the room, melding his material to the response from the room. He had decent material that went down well. He didn’t need to shout or swear for emphasis, instead he’d just raise his voice for the added emphasis where it did the most good.
Tim Fitzhigham, who does an excellent show on the Home Service ended the 2nd portion. He had a frenetic pace with massive amounts of energy being emitted. I’d estimate that 80% of his set was ad-libbed, with 20% being planned in advance and this went down a storm. He is extremely well read and just as importantly, he was able to make his general knowledge and observation relatable to the room. He’d take an earlier comment made in the room and add a wonderful anecdote or observation to it. I don’t know how he would fare opening a cold room, but he could get material from anything in almost any room. From what I’ve seen tonight, I think he could do a 1 man show very easily.
The closer was John Scott who opened strongly and carried on strongly. He managed to get 3 reveals on one joke each with a bigger laugh. He had a lot of material about being Scottish, which played well, but for me the treat was his political material. He wasn’t banging a drum for any particular party, but instead had some perceptive and well thought out observations that not only got laughs, but played surprisingly well in an area that has more sympathy with the Tories than Labour. He moved around with his material quite a bit, which kept it fresh and ended with a nice closer