Hurrah for another packed house upstairs at the Bradlaugh to see the next Comedy Crate extravaganza – with Tom Toal hosting three great acts for us all to enjoy. Tom was excellent at getting to know everyone in the front few rows, including regular updates on how Gemma’s mum was doing (not well apparently), the green suit man who’s into pet insurance, and all the girls who work at Giggle Café. He’s got a bright and lively style about him and put us all at our ease to enjoy the show.
Unusually for us, all three acts were new to us, so that made for a fascinating evening of comedy! First up was Finlay Christie, a 23-year-old self-styled posh boy, with a set all about being a young Generation Z chap. I loved his material about seeking out older women for a relationship and his observations on the class system. He’s a terrific comedy craftsman, with a superb ability to hold our attention. His final joke (and an incredibly funny one) took a long time to deliver with lots of vital pauses and silences; many a comic would have had the crowd growing restless under such circumstances, but he had wound us around his little finger and were glued to our seats to hear the punchline. This young man will go far, Mark My Words.
Next up was Ricky Balshaw, a naturally funny guy whose act centres on his life with cerebral palsy, and he’s not afraid to go into detail. Some of that material can be a little hard to take, but it’s his life and his reality, so if anyone is entitled to address it – it’s him! Blessed with excellent comic timing he has an excruciating tale about diarrhoea which had the entire audience squirming in hilarity. Good comedy should sometimes challenge the audience – and this was very good comedy.
Our headliner was Helen Bauer, who had the audience in the palm of her hand from the word Go, with terrific material from the point of view of an assertive woman, including her conclusions about Supersize v Superskinny, how life changes at 30, why German is sexy, and the incremental benefits of drinking three bottles of wine at a sitting. Full of attack, and with observations that never fail to hit home, she had us in hysterics the whole time. Apparently, she is returning for the Comedy Crate’s Summer Festival – where she will be a must-see.
Our next Comedy Crate gig will be at the Waterside Bar on the University of Northampton Campus in a couple of weeks – looking forward to it!