Last Friday’s Screaming Blue Murder could have started better for me. As we were waiting for the show to start, a young man blundered in, tripped over a chair leg and ended up spilling his cider all over my trousers. These things happen of course, but I would have preferred an apology rather than just an embarrassed titter. So I had to look to Mrs Chrisparkle to provide tissues to mop up my wet legs that remained cold and clammy for the rest of the evening. Never mind, his mother apologised to me in the interval and she was a stunner.
No Dan Evans this week, instead we had Angie McEvoy hosting. Angie’s been here a few times, both as host and as an act, and I must admit I do like her style. She’s very laid back, very relaxed; perhaps sometimes a little over-quiet, and there were times when she could have torn strips off those noisy so-and-so’s at the back who were having their own party and really irritating the rest of us. She did eventually do her wonderful heckle put-down act, which we’ve seen before and works a treat. She also did her routine involving Calpol, which always hits the funnybone.
Our first act was Luke Benson, 6ft 7in of Geordie comic. He had a good matey vibe about him, which contrasted quite nicely with some surreal wordplay – for example, he said he’d had his appendix removed, which now made him quite hard to reference. I guffawed. Others guffawed about two seconds later, which I guess meant I was more in tune with him than everyone else. I also liked his line about “describe yourself in three words”; answer – “concise”. Took me a while to get it. Took Lady Duncansby until the interval. He went down well in the audience.
Second was Jessica Fostekew, who reminded me a little of Helen Lederer, with her rather exquisite voice and general cuteness. She started off with a load of fast and furious one-liners, in a kind of Brechtian style, by telling us in advance that was what she would do, and by hurtling to the punch line almost before we’d had the chance to assimilate the lead-up. She had some good entertaining material, and I did enjoy her doing the travel news.
The final act was Geoff Boyz, a likeable Scottish guy with a strong confident style, some punchy material and the best Robert de Niro impersonation you are ever likely to see. He did a really good routine about staying as a guest in someone else’s house which brought out all the comic anxieties all of us face under those circumstances. One of those rare occasions where the headline act definitely worked the best.
Great news that it was a full house, as the numbers haven’t been great recently. Still the best comedy value you can get.