Another three comics for our delectation at the Derngate last Friday. Dan Evans was compere again and I thought he dealt magnificently with a noisy lady in the front row. His put-downs were perfect (and well deserved) and really appealed to a snob aspect of the rest of the audience that I was surprised was there… he got it spot on. The subsequent acts themselves took their lead from Dan, and whenever she piped up, they tended to ignore her, or say “shush” – much the wisest move.
Anyway first up was Quincy. No, not Jack Klugman running his fingers over the flesh of what you expect to be a stiff but is in fact a beautiful babe on his yacht, but a rather relaxed and very funny London guy, very tall and imposing but nicely self-effacing (proud of his 18 year old son, “tall, broad, strong, just like his mother”). Did some good jokes, built a nice character and was warmly received, a very good opening act.
Second was Stuart Hudson. This man’s humour is positively sick. I absolutely loved him. He characterises himself as a right reprobate but you could easily relate to him too. He did some really black humour, completely near-the-knuckle stuff that made you cringe audibly as you laughed, but it was extremely funny too. He also constructed a varied act, in that sometimes he just did clever inoffensive material too, to break it up which worked really well. “Not that nice to see you after all, to see you after all not that nice – Bruce Hindsight.” I’d definitely recommend him.
Last up was James Dowdeswell. If Stuart Hudson was sick, James Dowdeswell was slick. He delivered very clever and funny material at a good pace and with a good understanding about the kind of stuff we wanted to hear. All too often the headline act is the one that gets heckled, as by the end of the show a few more drinks have gone down the gullet and confidences blossom, but there was never any doubt this guy would just run his act his own way to great effect. Mrs Chrisparkle’s favourite of the night – very satisfying stuff.