End of Year round up
This has been a lovely year. I’ve been to 117 shows. This includes those at the Edinburgh Festival as well as the monthly shows that are the true meat and gravy of the comedy world. I’m quite happy with that total, as I’m only free for approx 140 nights of the year, owing to work and other commitments and there aren’t always comedy nights within easy travelling on the nights I am available. I’m also pretty proud of buying tickets for the shows I’ve seen, because it’s nice to be able to support the financial side of comedy. I’ve seen a lot of acts this year, but roughly only 1 in 8 was a comedienne, which is a shocking statistic, but not as shocking as me only seeing 2 female comperes all year (Sally-Anne Hayward and Ishi Khan-Jackson).
I was very pleased with the Nott’s Comedy Review Awards (non-pro acts only):
Best up and coming MC – Jim Bayes (£25)
Most improved act – Moses Ali Khan (£25)
Written comedy – Phil Pagett (£25)
Funniest Act – Roger Swift (£50)
The best show I saw was Panel Beaters (line up: Caimh McDonnell, Gary Delaney, Andy White, Scott Bennett and Andy Robinson), with Kev’s Komedy Kitchen a close second (Kevin Dewsbury, Will Hutchby, Hannah Blakeley, Mike Newall and Chris Tavener). Both of these shows should be on television, one as a series and the other as a wonderful one off.
The best individual comedy night was the Ashby English Comedian of the year heat (16th of March) featuring Aaron Twitchen, Pete Teckman, Nick Page, Phil Pagett, Wizzy Janew, Hannah Silvester, Jon Pearson, Lou Chawner, Roger Swift and Bambam Shaikh all on top form and with the Canal House on the 28th of July as runner up, featuring Radu Isac, Stephanie Laing, Peter McCole, Thomas Green, Jack Shanik, Jim Bayes and Chris Norton-Walker as MC.
The worst show that I saw this year was in Edinburgh and it wasn’t especially bad – it was more a case of me not being their target demographic and missing all of the references – everyone else was laughing, I was the only person hoping that the hour would fly by. The other show that was notably poor gig was one where the venue had ignored all of the advice of the promoter and had pretty much bounced them into running a free bank holiday show in the main room of the pub in front of a crowd that had started drinking in 1986 – it was only the professionalism of the acts and the promoter doing a lot of damage control that made this remotely playable. I rather think that the promoter only carried on so as not to disappoint the acts who were on their way by the time the nature of the night had become apparent.
For the second year running, the act that I most wanted to see, but was never free when they were gigging near me was The Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue. I’ve heard nothing but good things about these people and have yet to see them myself. They are actually in Grantham on the 26th, but naturally I don’t come back from work until the 27th natch.
My fantasy gig would probably be in the Blessington Carriage, or the New Barrack, or Bluey’s (all are lovely venues with something special) and would feature Wayne Beese as MC, Billy Lowther, Peter Brush, Roger Swift, Ben Briggs and Nick Page as headliner.
Predictions for 2017
I expect the following acts to have what could be considered a breakthrough year:
Adam Rowe and Josh Pugh (pretty much carrying on from 2016’s fantastic year)
I anticipate that these comedians will have an especially successful year and make visible progress: Alex Hylton, Hannah Silvester, Harry Stachini, Joby Mageean, Jon Pearson, Moses Ali Khan, Rahul Kohli, Simon Lomas, Simon Wozniak, Stephanie Laing and Tom Christian.
My two wild cards for a progressive year are Thomas Green and Liam Webber, who whilst they aren’t that well known should be.