Wayne Deakin, Stephen Carlin, Jon Pearson, Rob Mulholland and Rivka Uttley

Funhouse Comedy Gig in Kirton in Lindsey, a nice country pub, pretty much off the beaten track. The room had a mixed age group, but was mostly over 40 and probably had 50-60 people in. A polite group of people, with little to zilch chance of a nast echo. The room had a low ceiling, which made it resemble a cellar and had a strange lay out in that the stage was next to the bar, 80% of the audience to the left of the stage and 20% to the front and far right of the stage. The bar was closed during performances. MC was Spiky Mike and the format was 20 opener, 3 middle 10s and 20 closer.
Opening was Stephen Carlin, who had a slow walk to the stage, getting there a few seconds after the applause had ended. He began with a routine about heroin, which got laughs, but did seem to get a muted response. This may be because it was too early in the night for it. He got a better response to his material on drinking, which may have been more relatable for the room. He had a nice reference to Doncaster, which got a laugh, but his brief foray into Jimmy Saville took him into material that is already well trodden. There was a bit of a jar in the routine when he discussed Gay marriage, which was odd, as this wasn’t moving into a new topic, but just continuing his topic from another direction and so should have been smoother. It was like seeing a WORD in capitals in the middle of a sentence. He got consistent laughs and went down well. Constructive advice: seemed to lose a bit of momentum at the 3/4 mark and could perhaps consider looking at that part.
After the intermission, Jon Pearson was the first of the ten spots up. He delivered his set off stage, stood on the floor, as he was a 6’6 chap in a 5’10 room. He started strongly and went through a smooth set that hung together well. He knew when to pause for the room to laugh, which was just as well, as he got better laughs than the opener, with a big round of applause when he finished. Constructive advice: the jokes in binary gag went over the heads of a few people, jokes in Klingon or something may be more accessible to audiences, instead?
Rob Mulholland was the second ten spot. He received nice applause for his Jarvis Cocker reference and with his big wide grin has a lot of charm. He momentarily lost some sympathy from the audience when he discussed weed, but very swiftly regained it when he used it as a springboard into some very good material. His suicide material is very strong and the memory loss gag was a gift that kept on giving. Constructive advice: pacing – fast, which is good, but just a tad slower may work better.
Rivka Uttley was the final 10 spot. She had a slow start and I was concerned that her set would be hurt by following two strong acts. However, she had the entire room listening to her, which was great. She held the room entirely. She began with some material about her cat, which was better in some places than others, before discussing dating. Her nice face line is a wonderful banker. She is similar to Millican in that she can say the crudest things in the sweetest way and reap a dividend in the form of laughter. She had a slow pace, but this really suited her material and delivery and she knew when to drop a quick aside in to get a laugh.
Constructive advice: the cat material is good, but some of it could be improved a bit.
The headliner was the Australian comic, Wayne Deakin. He has an easy going charm and won the room from the off. He has an unusual structure, where he started with material, did some banter, then closed with material, whereas most comics feel their way with banter before working into the material. This worked well enough and the banter was particularly enjoyable. A lot of his material was of the foreigner looking in variety, which is a bit of a staple of foreign comics. I, personally, don’t care much for a travellogue/letter back home discussing how an outsider sees us, but the room did. He got good laughs for his observations and his line about a boss 10,000 miles away set up a wonderful reveal. He had a good night from start to finish.

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