Free Fringe comedy can be a risky prospect but it can be a risk worth taking in service of finding a night worth seeing.
Comedy Cow: Prime Cut is a showcase of up-and-coming talent - cheap at twice the price.
First up was MC Aaron Twitchen - an onomatopoeically-named bundle of energy whose observations kept the night’s proceedings moving along very smoothly. Though his prepared material might not have been the strongest on the bill, his rapport with the audience was excellent (not to mention oddly psychic at times), creating a firm foundation for the night’s other comics to build on in their acts
The next act was Jake Lambert, a baby-faced assassin whose seemingly young years belied a clever turn of phrase and some excellent jokes at the expense of his dad. While it may not be to some people’s taste, I enjoyed his set-up-knock-down puns as an easy way into the evening that warmed the sparse crowd up
The night’s guest artist Erica Benning began slightly below-par for the night, starting her set by relying on crude sexual innuendos and single entendres. However, her material soon took a turn for the better when she began to talk about her day job as a teacher and the strange habits of her eight-year-old charges. I particularly enjoyed her story about a disastrous trip to the zoo, complete with guilty pleasure at the suffering of one particular student.
Closing was Olaf Falafel - a faux-Nordic beanpole with a warm, cheerful approach to comedy. The choice of a Swedish stand-up persona is not an immediately obvious one but Falafel’s opening range of Ikea-based puns was another gentle-but-tame intro to his set. Things picked up with a surprise favourite being his routine on office hand dryers (no, really).
Despite the occasional dud joke, overall, Comedy Cow: Prime Cut is a showcase of up-and-coming talent - cheap at twice the price.