February – acts that have impressed me the most this month

This has been a nice month for comedy, with me seeing over 40 acts. The highlight was the UK Pun Championship and the low was a gong show entrant singing 4 different songs about vaginas on the trot.

These are the acts who have impressed me the most this month:

Archie Maddocks

This was a cracking set and although it occupied the sweet spot of the night, Maddocks managed to be the comedian who stood out on a good bill.

From the night:

Archie Maddocks gave the stand out performance of the night. Although he was introduced by the wrong name (a first for Spiky Mike), he rolled with this and then built upon it as he threw himself into a relaxed, yet fast talking set. Maddocks built up a lot of momentum as every reference hit home, including a Breaking Bad/knitting crossover and in a room 80% full of pensioners, a well received pussy joke. My personal favourite was a toss up between a routine about lineage or his indestructible granddad – both were excellent. In addition to the routines, Maddocks was happy to chat to the audience, although I felt the question asked was better framed as a rhetorical one. He did become one of the few acts I’ve heard booed, even in a friendly manner, when he commented on the number of old people in the room, but he had enough charm and goodwill to maintain his grip upon the room. This was an excellent set that I’d have liked to have seen more of.

Simon Lomas

This guy is building a big following and it’s easy to see why. Lomas has bags of talent and writes good material, but the real joy is in his delivery. Simply put, this is a man who has found his calling in life.

From the night:

Some people look like jokers, others look as if they are purveyors of deep and meaningful poetry and this makes Simon Lomas the clickbait of comedy – he gets on stage and you simply won’t believe what happens next. He performs his set with his body facing right of the audience, with wonderfully slow pacing and fantastic timing on the pauses. Lomas is compelling viewing and he held the room masterfully. This performance was a mix of existing and new material and he hoovered up a lot of laughs. Chicken pox is a work in progress, but everything else was top notch. I’ve already tipped Lomas as a comedian who will have a very progressive year and this has confirmed my opinion that he is going to go far.

Anna King-Jackson

I’ve seen King-Jackson twice this month and both times she impressed me with her quality. For an inexperienced comedian, she is already remarkably well advanced.

From the 2nd night:

Anna King-Jackson is a fairly new act and I believe that she has the ability to do well with comedy. Her set felt joined up, rather than just isolated bits of funny and she delivers it well. I like how she does a short set up and then a reveal, which ensures that she almost has the punchiness of a one-liner comedian, but contained within an actual progressively building set. King-Jackson did end with a few puns and these were knowingly groan worthy, which was ok, but could be improved upon. Although having said that, the Stonehenge Star Wars gag was very nice indeed. I was impressed by King-Jackson not being afraid of chatting to the audience. It’s nice when an act takes a risk like that, rather than staying on a script and it is even better when they can address people spoken to by the MC by name. This was a very good set from someone who shall become even better with more stage time.

UK Pun Championship acts

This was a lovely night and these three acts stood out the most.

Luvdev Barpaiga

He was a worthy winner and the most consistently good pun slinger of the evening.

Julian Lee

Lee was fascinating to watch. He’s a dominating presence and I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that he does a lot of compering. As it was he mixed his prepared puns and some very good ad libs and there was a palpable feeling of him being able to find a quip for anything.

Iain MacDonald

Although not a finalist, the quietly spoken MacDonald was probably the most impressive act of the night. His writing was superb and his dry, almost understated delivery is certain to build a huge amount of momentum over the course of a set.

Honourable Mentions

Roger Swift, Ben Shannon, Hal Cruttenden,

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