Following Delaney was the man who, out of the pair who I’d come to see, had most influenced me to attend this venue – Scott Bennett. I’d persuaded my parents to come to see the show, mostly on the strength of Delaney’s name, but I was very confident that Bennett would be the comedian whom they enjoyed the most. Although some of the audience left with Delaney, a fair few stayed, which was gratifying to see and this was probably even nicer for Bennett who was filming his show, entitled About a Roy.
Bennett is what I’d consider to be a solid, well experienced and reliable act. He came onto the stage, full of confidence and began well. He had enough local references to get off to a flying start, but didn’t make the mistake of making the night all about Nottingham. After rebuilding the atmosphere, which had dipped during the 10 minutes between Delaney ending and his starting, he began his show proper.
The show concerns his dad, who is a lovely bloke, but who has certain eccentricities These were mined to full comic effect. The material is very relatable and easily struck a chord with everyone in the room. I could see people pointing at each other as the various revelations came out and it was obvious that his dad’s foibles were shared with many of the members of the audience. Whereas Delaney got a lot of laughs, Bennett got deeper laughs – he was able to raise the audience and then bring them down in a way that Delaney’s style cannot. This is a bit like comparing chalk and cheese, but it made for an interesting observation.
Bennett wasn’t helped by one chap sat at the front who seemed to be a one man Statler and Waldorf, but without the comic depth or ability to be taken into a dark room and hung up. This chap didn’t have an off button and although Bennett repeatedly made it clear this was a one man show, he wouldn’t take the hint. The put downs weren’t brutal, but they made it clear that Bennett wasn’t auditioning for partners in a new double act. This didn’t derail the show and Bennett got good laughs for his crowd control, but they did interfere with the momentum to a degree.
The delivery was top notch and the material was first class, especially the bomb. To me, though, it was the call backs (I’m a big fan of these) that really got the big laughs. My only concern with the show was the fact that three segments are now of some vintage. These are all extraordinarily strong bits of material that the audience loved, but I’d like to see some more recent material (the VW reference was a beauty). These older bits work fantastically, but it always does a comedian, especially one of Bennett’s standing, good to have these bankers in reserve and to let the newer stuff have chance to shine.
Oh and I was right, my folks were very taken with Bennett.