Manhattan – Jason Neale, Unmighty Meaty, Thomas Rackham, Mike Yeoman, Danny Clives, Michael Dryburgh and Dave McGuckin (MC)

Tonight it was Comedy And Cocktails at Manhattan34​ a cellar gig in Leicester. This was a new material gig, with bucket at the end (nice to see notes in it). The room was pretty full, with a fairly young audience. The music coming from upstairs was irritating and also totally pointless, as there were 25 people down for the comedy and about 3 people upstairs listening to Dire Straits.

Dave McGuckin was compering. He did a short warm up, that could have been a few minutes longer perhaps. In this particular venue, a very long warm up would have been counter-productive, so I’m thinking he erred on the side of caution. He had some nice stuff about Tinder, but really this is a subject that has been done to death and I wish he’d used something else. He was nice mannered and ran the night well enough to be a positive influence.

Opening was Michael Dryburgh. He hit the ground running with a joke about working class, that had two laughs, one when he said it and then another 5 seconds later when the other half of the room got the joke. His material about his ex is a banker and there was real joy on the second reveal concerning his break up. He got consistent laughs from the room, including an applause break. He’s progressing very nicely with a pretty solid 10 and had a good night.

Danny Clives was second on the bill. He also had a good night, with the audience enjoying his set. I found it to contain some really nice material and some bits that I, personally, wasn’t that keen on. That’s not to say these bits are bad, they just aren’t as good as the other bits. The audience really went for his short stories, but to me, the best parts were the one liner throw away comments that he’d put out – these are really good, especially the shy members line.

Mike Yeoman was the Debut 5 – this is a new and really rather nice innovation where a 5 minute slot is given to someone who hasn’t done comedy before. Yeoman made a promising start. His material concerning H&S was reasonable, but could do with a bit more work. The debate was worth the set up, but the click bait was a tad predictable, however, if he can add a better twist he would have something there. He had a good confident delivery and by no means was bad.

Thomas Rackham closed the first section. He began well with using his clothing to ease into his set. He had some nice visual material and as ever gave an enjoyable delivery, getting lots of laughs. The energy drink material is sound, the jogging section is really good, although milky legs needs a tweak. He’s an enjoyable act who is doing well.

Lindsey Warnes Carroll opened the final section with her character ‘Unmighty Meaty’ – her act demonstrates a high level of creativity and she got good laughs, although the room was split a bit over it 80/20 in her favour. To be honest, it’s not a character act that appeals to me, but the talent that lies behind it is impressive and I’d love to see her try something else. However, this was well received by the majority of the room.

Closing was the comedian who had influenced me most in making the trip to Leicester – Jason Neale. I’ve seen him before in a character piece, where he was underused, but got great laughs from very little, so I was curious as to what he could do. I wasn’t to be left wanting. He gave us a short Edinburgh Preview, showing a strong, but relaxed delivery. This is a comic who has real presence on stage and can use this to his advantage. His material flowed nicely and although he seemed to meander in the topic, this gave his set a very nice easy listening feel to it. However, he showed that he could also change tempo easily and shout. Neale is an act who has a lot of potential and with a lot of gigging could get to be very good indeed.


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