When compére Stephen Grant takes the stage, he capably gains control of the large, boisterous audience with his high energy stage presence and quick-witted quips. His style is a kind of exasperated, frantic ranting and each rant ends with an explosive payoff. At one point, the audience interaction does become slightly strained, but this is due to the hen-party guest’s unwillingness to answer simple questions. He manages with ease, as he puts it, to maneuver his way out of this “comedy cul-de-sac”.
this was, without a doubt, an outstanding night of quality comedy from start to finish
The first act is Paul Myrehaug, a Canadian with a slow paced delivery and an endearingly gentle demeanor. He pokes fun at cultural differences between Canada and Britain, from binge drinking to drug taking and his intentional mispronunciation of Sainsbury’s is adorably silly. His relaxed, unhurried delivery makes him a pleasure to watch, although it prevents him from fitting in as many punchlines to his short performance. His final laugh is the biggest, where he puts an audience member on the spot with a hilariously embarrassing question, though all of his jokes land well.
Next is Tom Wrigglesworth, who is literally laughed onto the stage. “You laugh”, he starts, “but I do look like this all the time”. Wrigglesworth is a tall, gangly and strange looking man, with a large moustache and strong Yorkshire accent. His jokes are built on telling rambling stories about mundane experiences like getting a speeding ticket, or using a printer, taken to absurdist abstraction by his cleverly worded observations. His delivery is spot on and his material is so unique. His humor seems to be so ingrained that he cannot help but be comical, and when he is wrapping up his final joke it feels too soon.
Closing the show is Nathan Caton, whose material is the most political and delivery the most casual. His jokes are not overly complex and his style is relaxed, which makes Caton seem naturally funny, as if he is coming up with the gags whilst in conversation with a friend. He covers current political topics like Brexit and Russian hacking, and lampoons Donald Trump – who is “just a bellend, man”. When Caton starts a routine about his Asian girlfriend being racially profiled at the airport, the audience goes a little quiet, but the punchline turns racial stereotypes on their head and finishes with a huge satisfying laugh.
The show could have benefited from a bit more variety, perhaps at least one female comic, and having only one interval rather than two, but this was, without a doubt, an outstanding night of quality comedy from start to finish.