Great to see yet another very full house for the regular Screaming Blue Murder comedy club last Friday. Our compere was Dan Evans, on excellent form again, and getting us well warmed up with his interaction with the front rows. We were quite a lively bunch last Friday, so there was plenty of material for him to juggle with. I’m enjoying the way Dan now introduces new material with a crestfallen sigh as if to pave the way for its unsuccessful response – it’s becoming a very funny new theme for his compering!
Our first act was Paul Pirie. When I was getting the pre-show drinkies in, Paul Pirie was also at the bar, ordering a couple of drinks in a softly spoken and self-effacing manner. What a nice, unassuming and polite person he seemed, I thought. How different from his act! Aggressive and vulgar, the vast majority of his material seemed to concentrate on the more unpleasant bodily fluids and emissions, joking about people with disabilities, and doing to death each scenario he described with repeated sound effects. If he made a screaming noise to accompany, say, a stabbing action, he would do it about eight times, until he, and I, were exhausted with it. Additionally there was something wrong with his microphone, which meant that his voice was piercing and grating and went right through my brain. I spent his entire act with my right forefinger pressed on my eardrum. This act and I didn’t mix. However, in the interest of fairness, I have to say that the majority of the younger people in the audience found him hilarious.
Alas, the same could not be said for our second act, Sunna Jarman. She started very promisingly but for some reason could not quite hit her stride. I think she needs to strengthen her comic persona; she has some – very funny – lines that equate to her being a bit of a posh bird, and I think if she created some more snobbish material she could be much funnier. Even with her act going a bit wobbly, I still found her more entertaining than Paul Pirie. However, about seven minutes into her act, she was saying something detrimental about Katie Price (personally I have no problem with that), when she received a devastating heckle to the effect that at least Katie Price tells better jokes. Unfortunately, I don’t think she heard what the heckler said properly, so she ignored it; but the audience all heard it and basically agreed with it – and thus she was lost from then on. I’m pretty sure she cut and ran shortly afterwards.
Fortunately in came the cavalry to rescue the evening in the form of our final act, Steve Day. We’ve seen him here before a couple of years ago, and he is fantastically entertaining. He is deaf, and most of his material is based on being a deaf person in a hearing world, but it’s never sentimental or self-pitying, preachy or defensive. Some very insightful comedy about discrimination within disabilities, plus also some generally offbeat observations about families – and windfarms. So many great lines, I won’t spoil them by repeating them; but he is a superb comic as his massive reception at the end testified and you must catch him if you possibly can.