Review – Screaming Blue Murder, Underground at the Derngate, Northampton, 27th February 2015

Screaming Blue MurderOnce again it was a full house at the Screaming Blue Murder, with Lady Duncansby procuring the last available ticket just a couple of days ago. Regular host Dan Evans had his work cut out to keep order at first, with a number of late arrivals, some of which were rather on the noisy side; some chatty ladies in the front row, some older blokes who carried their years well, a couple who brought their own curry takeaway, a rather vague student from Liverpool University, and, in comparison, the most demure and elegantly well behaved hen party imaginable. But Dan was on excellent form as usual, with an engaging mixture of new and old material that went down a treat. As proof of how good he was, he even sold a few copies of his book.

Susan MurrayThere was a little uncertainty before our first act appeared, because she should have been our second. Our original first was apparently suffering from something icky in the stomach department and couldn’t be prised out of the loo. Nice way of announcing the guests! So we stared off with Susan Murray, a somewhat regular comic here as this was the fourth time we’d seen her! She’s always good for a laugh, with less accent-based material than usual and more about, well, sex. With jokes about vaginas being too big and the positioning of a six-inch tattoo on her thigh, there was more than enough to get your teeth into, so to speak. By bouncing off the Liverpool student, she did quite a lot of scouse jokes, which rather alienated Lady D – pick on any part of the country and you’re bound to offend someone somewhere.

Paul T EyresOur second act, who should have been our first, was Paul T Eyres, who was new to us, a bright, entertaining young chap with lots of good material about class, relationships and kids. I enjoyed his confident delivery and easy style with the audience. A superb performance if he was actually suffering from a dicky tummy. One to watch, methinks.

Markus BirdmanOur headline act was someone we’ve seen twice before, the splendid Markus Birdman. Winner of the Chrisparkle award for Best Screaming Blue Murder Standup in 2013, he has an amazing lightness of touch combined with genuinely fantastic material. There was a fair deal of repetition from his act a couple of years ago, but like New York, it’s so good you can hear it twice. There’s no finer joke to be heard than his one about the “speed of ejaculate”, trust me on this one. Since we last saw him he’s now coping with having a ten-year-old daughter and a marriage breakup, which in typical Birdman fashion becomes the springboard for lots of brilliant observational comedy. I admit it, I’m a fan.

Next show is in two weeks. You’d better book up quickly!

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