Ray Bradshaw is like a mate from home who’s gone on to make it big: he would look equally comfortable spinning comedic tales onstage and with a pint in his hand, laughing about slipping in a game of footie. He’s a people’s comedian. And, unlike a lot of other guys who say they’re “people’s comedians”, Bradshaw is raucously funny.
Ray Bradshaw has not only got great stories to tell, but a comedy talent to boot.
His act is based upon the invention and ensuing tales related to “idarerayto.com”, a website Bradshaw set up in 2012, wherein anyone could dare him to do pretty much anything. And some of the stories which come out of it are wild enough to make you consider doing it yourself – although later stories chronicle enough hilarious, arse-clenchingly uncomfortable situations to make you think twice about it.
But although the stories themselves are pretty funny, it’s not where the best comedy in the show came from; it was Bradshaw’s witty and unexpected asides. He’s got an unmistakeable comic talent for the left field, and the joke with a sting in it’s tail. If nothing else, you could watch him wondering where his next joke is going to go, and that’s definitely worth the price of admission.
That, and Bradshaw’s great audience interaction. His little conversations to preface stories went far beyond bit gags: he would refer back to audience members by name, if he thought they had any good input into the routine. And thanks to his utter joviality and friendliness, it never seemed forced or rehearsed. Even if I hadn’t found him funny, Bradshaw would be up there with the most likable comedians I’ve ever seen.
But, sometimes that same joviality worked against him. Although it set the tone for the show, sometimes his stories became a little prosaic or vague simply because of the chatty comfort with which Bradshaw presented them. But he never once ever lost the audience even by an iota - myself included - even during momentary losses of momentum.
Ray Bradshaw has not only got great stories to tell, but a comedy talent to boot. And, if he ever gives up the joke-telling circuit, Bradshaw could certainly find work as an angler - at least, if his experience in reeling in audiences is anything to go by.