THIS first ever stand-up comedy night was a bit of a departure for this cosy little theatre. Their stock-in-trade is
THIS first ever stand-up comedy night was a bit of a departure for this cosy little theatre. Their stock-in-trade is a roast-dinner-and-bedroom-farce combo that generally pulls a middle-aged plus crowd. Last Tuesday, the roast was substituted by a choice or curry or chilli, and the audience substituted by a younger lot, most of whom seemed to be well up for a laugh.
Comedy clubs tend to be sawdust-strewn basement bars chock full of students expecting hardcore jokes, or else large theatres such as the Hexagon where people from all walks of life assemble to watch superstars like Michael McIntyre. So sitting in this rather well-to-do venue with an unknown line-up was a departure from the norm. However, it worked well.
Compère Maff Brown was a genial cockney sort with a fairly gentle line in picking on those unfortunate enough (or daft enough) to get seats in his firing line. The comedians were blue enough to be risqué, but realised that for this audience they needed to steer clear of too much bad language or smut. Bob Mills, an old pro in a black shirt, the buttons of which were straining over his corpulent beer belly, explained how in these days of political correctness there’s only group you can still take the mickey out of and get away with it — fat bastards. “I’ll do anything to lose weight,” he said, “apart from eat less or exercise.”
Pierre Hollins, a bald, guitar-strumming comic, was entertaining with his songs about dope, divorce and “putting the fun back into fundamentalism”, but it was the final act, fellow baldie Mike Gunn, who had the audience rocking in the aisles with his list of things that women love and men just don’t get, such as cushions, candles and Gok Wan.
There was a smattering of older chaps in the audience — including poor Tony from Ascot, in white dinner jacket and bow tie — who just didn’t get it and slipped out during the interval looking non-plussed. But for most of us this was a great fun evening — and at £25 for dinner and a show, pretty good value.
The next comedy night in June features Lee Hurst and guests. Box office: 0118 969 8000 or www.millatsonning.com