It’s back for another big dollop of laughter at the Charles Bradlaugh, courtesy of those nice people at the Comedy Crate. It’s always exciting when all the acts are new to us, because the evening becomes a smorgasbord of unexpected delights. Our host for the evening was Alex Farrow, a smart super-confident chap who quickly gains a terrific rapport with the audience, and quickly elicited the fact that we were all rich beyond the dreams of avarice – well, it may have seemed that way at least. But there can’t be that many people who have access to two yachts! Very quick witted, he bounced off all the comedy nuggets that the audience gave him, and kept the show moving at an enjoyably fast pace. I made a note in my brain that we must catch his full solo show one day.
First up was Steve Hall, whose material is firmly based on his family life with his no-nonsense wife and two delightful children, who have discovered the art of homemade tattoos. There are lots of very recognisable family-based comic observations, many of which are illustrated with pictures including life from his own childhood as well as his own kids. If this sounds a little cosy, it’s peppered with many surprisingly sharp moments and there’s lots of big laugh-out-loud punchlines. An excellent start to the evening.
Next came Kathryn Mather who has wisely moved on from being a children’s entertainer. She has a nicely awkward stage persona and an excellent use of self-deprecation, talking about her lack of success with men and some entertaining stories about trying to attract the opposite sex. We hear about her (slightly predictable) encounter with the Dreamboys, and the perils of speed dating. From the sound of the laughter there was lots for women to recognise, if not quite so much for the guys. But she went down very well with the audience.
Our headliner act, and someone whose career we will definitely follow with interest, was Sarah Keyworth, a naturally funny comedian who mines comedy gold from her appearance and sexuality in an effortlessly hilarious way. She delivered not only the best pronouns gag out there, but also the best definition of non-binary, which had us all in hysterics. She has a marvellous running thread about being in a lesbian foursome, including the obligations one would feel about being the perfect host whilst entertaining three other women, and a brilliant sequence about inviting a male stripper to a hen party in a caravan in Devon. She completely blew us away with her superb audience interaction – occasionally checking in with second-row John to make sure it was going ok – and pinpoint perfect material. Another excellent night of comedy.