Another sell-out crowd upstairs at the Bradlaugh to see the latest serving of comedy from those nice people at the Comedy Crate. Our host for the evening was Will Duggan, an amiable chap who sets up a great rapport with the audience, mining the audience for golden nuggets that can be used later; and, as an audience we didn’t disappoint. There were Ed and San-D, who couldn’t remember how many times they’d got married; there was Mark with the dashing moustache who looked like he’d floated in on the nearest gondola; and peppered around the room were more administrators than you can shake a stick at. Will kept the action going splendidly and prepared us all for a great night.
First up, and someone who we’ve seen once before and really enjoyed, was Michael Fabbri, who wastes no time getting straight in with the funny, class-based observations, like to what extent do you trust a pilot with a working-class accent, or how do you react to overheard conversations in a campsite. He did his routine about not being able to find the door in a hotel room, which we’d heard before but is always worth a re-run. He has a very funny sequence about watching a guy at night at his bedroom window, and what happens when you have to resort to pretending to sneeze. Absolutely brilliant material, all told with disarming charm and wicked timing. Superb!
Our second act, and someone new to us, was Sam Nicoresti, who takes us on his journey of sexual- and gender-identity discovery which is intriguing and enlightening if not always laugh-a-minute. I enjoyed their conclusion that they’re gender queer even though they’re not sure what that means, and I loved their material about scattering ashes at Cleethorpes (not to be recommended, by the sound of it). They also have a great solution for how to overcome the current indifference towards the Royal Family. Entertaining and enjoyable, I reckon the belly laughs will come in due course with increased confidence.
Our headliner, and a fairly late replacement to the advertised programme, was Colin Hoult in his persona as… Colin Hoult, having only known him before as the amazing Anna Mann, winner of last year’s Chrisparkle Award for Best of the Rest in Edinburgh. Colin is returning to old-fashioned stand up, and judging by last night’s performance it’s going to be a winner. From his opening gambit that all men should call each other babe (I might try it this weekend) through an examination of his family background and the characteristics of that multi-faceted bunch of people, he has brilliant comic observations about class and behaviour which he weaves into a constant conversation with the audience. He has this amazing ability to connect with each of us individually, so that it feels like a private meeting; I guess it’s that sense of genuine sincerity in everything he says. He has a terrific sequence about using Ouija boards – and I was truly surprised at how many members of the audience have done it! If you enjoy Anna, you’ll recognise her lurking not too far beneath Colin’s surface, but it’s none the worse for that! A terrific end to the evening.
Our next meetup with the Comedy Crate at the Bradlaugh is on March 9th – you ought to come along!