Nott’s Comedy Festival – Paul Kerensa

Tonight I was at a new (to me) venue to see Paul Kerensa. I’ve driven past the Navigation a few times, but never been in prior to this. The gig itself was held in an upstairs room, which was quite long with high ceilings. It could have hosted an evening group into basket weaving just as easily as a comedy gig. Downstairs there was a small band warming up, which didn’t bode well for the night – I’ve seen a few sets derailed by a band blasting out at 11 before. There are actually two Navigations in Nottingham. I double checked to make sure I got the right one. Paul Kerensa wasn’t quite so lucky, but wasn’t late for the gig although I daresay this must have given him a bit of a turn.
The show was Back to the Futon, part II. I saw the preview to this back in July at a Funhouse gig and enjoyed it. The show had a nice feel and there was a belting song in it. When I was booking tickets for the Nottingham Comedy Festival, I found a gap tonight where this would fit in, although I would have had to hot foot it from one venue to another. As it turned out, there were a few rearrangements to the schedule and this was my only event of the day 😦 There were others I could have gone to tonight, but none would have fitted in easily with me being in the Navigation on time. As it was, I knew I was still in for a good time.
Some comedians deal with issues of great import, changing one’s views on politics and society. These can be very entertaining and are often extremely skilful. Kerensa is a lot more light hearted, but just as skilled. It’s nice to see something that has a nice light feel that one can just sit and enjoy. Kerensa made a nice start, gaining lots of chuckles over some signs, which warmed the room. He used visual aids throughout the show, weaving his material around the visuals. This worked very well and gave the audience a viewing point to anchor to. The music from downstairs was clearly audible, but this didn’t make any difference to the night, as we were all listening to Kerensa. He didn’t shout or raise his voice, but just delivered his material in a conversational tone. This suited his work very well and served to make it feel low key in a good way.
Kerensa has some lovely phrases, such as ‘BBC4 and relax’ and struck a chord with TV themes one can sing the name of the show to – my immediate thought was The Sweeney. We then came to what to me was the highlight of the night and indeed the main reason that I was happy to pay out money to watch the show again: a splendiferous song that recaps the events of the first Back to the Future. This song is tremendous fun and I can’t emphasis how much I enjoy it. On the face of it, a simple idea, but one that works extremely well. Following this was Kerensaoke – which was similar to one song to the tune of another. I never expected that the theme tune to Benny Hill would work so well with the lyrics to Teach the world to sing, yet it did. The ending was family related, but tied in nicely to the self-confessed geek theme that permeated the show. This was a very pleasant night and well worth coming out for.

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