When your lineup is three unheard-of comedians, and your venue is the Gilded Balloon’s tiny “Wee Room”, calling your show ‘The Big Comedy Showcase’ is actually a pretty smart move.
Davey Connor is a textbook compere, though an almost entirely jokeless one. Connor began proceedings by asking almost every member of the audience “what do you do?”, or “where are you from?” or “have you travelled far?”, and not once following up on their replies with a punchline. A cruel critic might suggest that Connor has cribbed his material from Prince Charles, but that would do Connor a disservice. His mellow approach to hosting successfully put the audience at their ease within seconds and he warmed up throughout the evening, earning a few substantial laughs with later material about hermaphroditic baby snails.
Ed Patrick crushed the relaxed vibe which Connor set up. An anxious performer, Patrick seemed disconcerted by the awkward silence which greeted one punchline about overweight women. “Just having a laugh,” he wheedled, “it’s important to have a laugh.” Some of Patrick’s material was disappointingly familiar, particularly one line which I have heard in different forms from 3 different comics over the last year. Patrick has one very, very funny skit about bad erotic writing, but this was the only highlight in an otherwise very uneven set.
Lucy Beaumont was a lot better. Using her thick Hull accent to her advantage, Beaumont turned out a well written and largely Hull-centric set including an excellent piece of ‘found comedy’ reading selected bizarre highlights from a genuine takeaway pizza menu. It would be nice if her different riffs fitted together more neatly – her set was marked by a number of sudden changes of direction – but this is really just a quibble. Beaumont doesn’t engage with the audience as successfully as Connor, but succeeded in winning them over on the strength of her material alone.