This has been a fun month for comedy. We were in full on Edinburgh preview season and although I only saw 31 acts, I did see some absolutely brilliant shows.
The highlight of the month was Red Redmond squaring up to an obnoxious heckler. Red is one of the smallest built people I’ve met and this bloke could have done him a nasty injury before the rest of the room intervened, so this took guts. The lowlight of the month was a drunk who kept complaining about one act’s otherwise well received set, saying ‘didn’t get that’ or ‘what?’ after most of their jokes. You can’t please everyone, but she seemed to be really going out of her way to let people know she wasn’t onboard. Naturally during the intermission she went over and told the act that they were dead brave…..
These are the acts that have impressed me the most this month:
This was an amazing show. His timing was perfect, his writing was impeccable and he kept the energy up all the way through.
From the night:
Moorhouse came to the stage full of energy and received a rousing reception from the audience. To say that he hit the ground running would be a huge understatement – he hit the room with the speed of a steam locomotive and he never slackened the pace throughout the entire hour. He began by discussing the title of his show, with a brief talk about being Northern, where he showed a firm grasp of northern rivalries, before moving onto the joker part. This show was full of stories about his life, his children getting older, Brexit and Puffin Island. Every single routine was full of charm and extremely funny. There were no lulls, Moorhouse just seemed to go from highlight to highlight.
Too many areas stood out for their excellence, so this list is far from comprehensive. There was a great joke about being vegan, what Trump has done for middle aged men was superb, especially the line about the fence, his whole foray into Brexit was magnificent and insightful. However, when it came to table sauces and Brexit, Moorhouse demonstrated true genius; this was sublime writing. Even Brezhnev received a mention and got a laugh, something that can’t have happened recently in a comedy show.
Moorhouse’s delivery was superb. He has a great rhythm of delivery and he could probably read out a shopping list and still get laughs just from how he did it. His timing with the pause on the motives of Brexit voters was great. This was a show where not only was there a lot of laughter and applause, but people were still laughing long after the punchlines. I’ve a feeling that I will still be laughing at this days later. This is a winner of a show.
Monmoth has the basis of a very good twenty here. It’s not yet the finished article, but with tighter writing and a different closing routine she will have something special. It’s already got bags of charm.
From the night:
We resumed after the intermission with Laura Monmoth. I’ve seen Laura compering and doing her Edinburgh show, but I’d never seen her do a twenty before. A lot of her material was delivered via power point, which made it very easy to follow. There were a lot of jokes to be seen. Even the screen saver, prior to her beginning contained a good number of jokes for anyone who gave it more than the once over. Laura was very astute in taking pre-gig photos of the audience and the landlord and using them in her set, as this grabbed everyone’s attention and made her set feel special. Equally wise was her use of Mansfield for the local shit town. I and everyone else were hugely impressed by the power point crafted callbacks to Roger’s set. These were elaborate and must have been very time consuming for her to create, but they landed with the force of a sledgehammer. Laura’s attempts to improve reality were charming and very funny, receiving good laughs. The closing routine featured Bohemian Rhapsody and she’d benefit from acquiring a conductor’s baton to push the sing-along along. This is a good closing routine, but it’s a very long song and it does eat up a lot of time that she might be able to make better use of. For anyone not invested in it after the first minute, there isn’t much to hold them for the next five, but in fairness, Laura received good laughs for it, especially the more surreal names. This was a very good set that held the room well. It was creatively constructed and the laughs came regularly. Monmoth is certainly a bookable act.
Simply a fantastic act with amazing comic instincts.
From the night:
We resumed after the intermission with Simon Lomas who is the best new act to hit the circuit in the last few years. He was here to try some new material not long after winning the biggest monetary prize in UK comedy history. As he stood on the stage about to begin his set, Lomas received a wolf whistle, which, with a voice dripping with dryness, he thanked the lady for. He then launched into his set, getting his first applause break after his first joke. From here it became almost Pavlovian, with Lomas talking and then the audience laughing and applauding every time he finished speaking. I adored the visual gag with the notebooks and I shouldn’t be surprised if he couldn’t get a second bite of that cherry by having a third book about his person. There were two new jokes that could perhaps be improved; Alton Towers and the following joke, which might perhaps work better with stayed at home. There was a cracking moment when a girl was foolish enough to shout out, asking if he needed a hug – his response to this was beautiful and the joke that he closed the set on was tremendous. This was a brilliant set.