Afterhours Comedy: Amused Moose Comedy

Different top-tier comedians take to the stage each night to deliver five to ten minutes of their material. The night I saw had Paul Sinha, Mark Simmons, the musical duo Flo and Jo, Stephen Bailey and Jack Gleadow perform under Mark Dolan’s skilful compering. Dolan was intelligently self-deprecating on stage, and made his transitions mercifully short, punchy and funny before introducing the next act.

​A night of stand up doesn't get much better than this.

There was a nice balance between the mainstream and the esoteric. The more straightforward acts were a delight - Paul Sinha, the headline act, was a hysterical highlight, mixing self-deprecating material about his absurd neck, his status as a Z-list celebrity/professional competitive quiz show player and being a gay comedian who ‘doesn't look’ gay. Stephen Bailey flirted openly with audience members with such shameless lust that I was convinced he was going to take half the crowd home. A strident, witty presence, Bailey twists tales of his sex-life into wonderfully acerbic comedy.

Other acts were happily bizarre. Mark Simmons, like other one-liner comedians, revels in wordplay. However, unlike Milton Jones and co. his jokes operate on a deeper, more surreal level that lends a disturbingly hilarious realism to his strange witticisms. His double-entendres are less ‘jocular uncle’ and more ‘sociopath who can’t read facial expressions’. This is a good thing.

Armed with a scooter and the wardrobe of a 19th century street urchin, Jack Gleadow held fort with a cruelly funny set where he abused not only himself but also audience members, having one reticent participant pointlessly jog back and forth in what I ashamedly found to be one of the funniest joke of the night.

There was also a musical act. Flo and Joan played two witty and mesmerising songs whose harmonies rang out eerily throughout the auditorium. Their sarcastic self-interruptions, combined with their talent for chastising men, sexism and, seemingly, miscellany, added a depth and acidity to a genre that often descends into stale doggerel.

A night of stand up doesn't get much better than this.

Reviews by Ben Munster

Spiegeltent at Southbank Centre

Marcel Lucont's Cabaret Fantastique

★★★★
King's Head Theatre Pub

The Service

★★★★
theSpace @ Symposium Hall

Afterhours Comedy: Amused Moose Comedy

★★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

UCL Graters: Smashing

★★★★
Assembly Roxy

Joanne McNally: Bite Me

★★★★
Laughing Horse @ The Counting House

Andy Stedman – Parental Guidance

★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Laughter packed, legendary and unmissable on Saturday nights since 2002. In an awesome new roost and totally shimmering plumage, Afterhours, the Fringe's tip-top, late evening comedy show will delight you differently every time, showcasing the pick of the highest flying stand-ups around the Fringe. And we've plucked 2017's brightest fledglings from obscurity to charm you as they soar towards stardom. Afterhours features famously entertaining comedians, the same as at London's award-winning, Time Out recommended, Amused Moose comedy venues. ‘Best late night comedy’ (List top recommendation). ‘Awesome late night hilarity’ (ThreeWeeks). ‘Stellar!’ (Scotsman). Line-ups on amusedmoose.com/shows.