Nott’s Comedy Review – end of month recommendations – August

This has been a big month for comedy, with the Edinburgh festival. Rather than just say which shows I enjoyed the most, this months’ list of the people who have impressed me the most will concentrate on those whom I only saw doing short sets in compilation shows. This means that Norcott, Segal, Green, Swift and Perkins are all excluded as I saw them in full shows.

Moses Ali Khan

I’d not seen Moses for six months and it is impossible to understate just how much he has improved in that time. His material is clever and dark and he has found a way to deliver it that is nicely disarming.

From the gig:

Moses Ali Khan was next and he had an exceptionally good gig. His character act is a beautiful construct that allows him to say the most appalling things with enough of a breathing space for the audience to laugh before worrying about how dark his material is. The material involves a lot of misdirection before the surprise punchline emerges and it isn’t what the audience ever expects it to be. This was a very very funny set and although he benefited somewhat from following Adele, the gusts of laughter were down to his talent.

Harry Stachini

Very impressive, very funny and every time I see him he is better than the last time.

From the gig:

Harry Stachini, who is very much an up and coming comedian, followed. His delivery was very matter of fact, he described the events surrounding odd people on buses in a plain workmanlike way, almost as if he had just got in from work and was telling his partner about the journey home. Yet despite this being a bit of a no thrills approach, it perfectly suits his persona and material and worked far better than any other approach he could have taken. It gave the events he described great credibility. Stachini chose his words well, with there being hardly a single word that was superfluous to what he was saying and every phrase he used seemed perfect for the context. Although bus passengers is a well travelled topic for comics, Stachini made it seem fresh, which is no mean feat.

Mark Grimshaw

This chap has the ability to take a sideways view of most topics. Although the areas he spoke about are pretty well travelled his take on them was fresh.

From the gig:

The first act was Mark Grimshaw who in his 8 minutes interestingly combined some popular topics that a few comedians are working with, but with him saying some very funny and definitely above average things about them. He began by explaining that he is autistic and compared his delivery to that of Yodel – this was an area that I appreciated, as I felt it to be very timely and it certainly resonated with the audience. However, he then went on to talk about the headlines in OK magazine, which I thought was going for a bit of an easy target and one that has been covered a few times. However, I really enjoyed what he had to say about it. The same can be said for his discussion about unusual reviews left on Trip Adviser. He is the second comedian I’ve seen mining this site for comedy recently and although both were different in the specifics of what they had to say, the format was exactly the same, with both having independently gone with something along the lines of ‘well what did they expect to see there?’ Grimshaw’s take on it contained some great lines, such as ‘new management’ and ‘mod cons’ which were very good indeed. Grimshaw is obviously a very talented wordsmith, but I’d like to see him going for less well travelled topics.

Tony Cowards (MC)

I saw Tony compering a gig following his stint in Edinburgh. His general knowledge enabled him to make the most of replies from the audience and his ability to tie existing material into this, without any huge leaps of logic is uncanny. He has the knack of making a well thought out stream of puns seem like an off the cuff comment. Audiences love the apparent spontaneity of this and it ensures that he not only wins rooms over quickly, but also makes it feel a bit special for everyone.

Honourable mentions:

Simon Lomas, Pete Selwood, Jay Handley, Adele Swift and Tom Mayhew

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