The Humble Quest for Universal Genius

Komedia welcomes the usual suspects into its ample bosom for laughter and such-like frivolity. The message is: the glory of ancient civilisations may be behind us, but there’s no reason we can’t relive those times with some good old gladiatorial combat.

In a disappointingly bloodless battle (but not without the tantalising risk of gouging out eyeballs with Velcro-friendly grenades) this instalment of the Humble Quest saw feisty Nat Luurtsema clash clver heads with the droll Liam Mullone.

Nat is an accomplished comedian author and radio presenter who has regularly appeared on TV’s ‘Live at the Electric’, and she’s funny, too, which is so much rarer. She can thoroughly talk the talk, if walking the walk was tricky in such tight trousers. Circulation be damned, she took the stage like the pro she is and boshed some excellent wit in the face of comedy heavyweight Liam Malone.

Liam is a man of healthily diverse trades; grave-digger, obituarist, restaurant critic, Times journalist as well as writing for telly favourites such as Russell Howard’s Good News. He’s a masterful wordsmith, crafting snappy ripostes with a deliciously macabre sting. His acerbic political stance crept through the chatter of Ancient Greek mythology and questionable hunting skills, which was very pleasing. Could he be our Universal Genius? Probably not, since the bar is set pretty high even for his lengthy legs.

The hopefuls are assessed under some fairly dodgy rules (Nat receives an awful lot of favouritism from amorous assistant Eli Silverman) and some tricky criteria encompassing Hungarian phrase books, panda n’ scampi poetry and the classic sculpture round depicting acid trips in Play- Doh. It’s all enacted with a liberal slosh of silliness and some excellent fluffing by compere Mark Allen who kept an engaged audience on their funny limbs. The sly Eli stole the show at various points with his unique brand of mute rage, especially when being glitzed up like the equivalent of a bewildered Neanderthal at Butlins.

A magnificent evening of laughs at one of the best venues in town- I cannot recommend it enough!

Reviews by Rowan Dent

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The Blurb

The cult comedy quiz show where top stand-ups are pitted against each other in a bid to find a modern-day Universal Genius. Unlike other quiz shows, you’ll see comedians testing their mettle in proper subjects, such as art, languages, science, poetry, etiquette and hunting. Yes, hunting. “The bastard child of QI and Shooting Stars” ( “Pure comedy genius” (Latest 7)

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