The Jocks and Geordies is a show that has found an audience. The ladies in the front row had been coming for years, a mark that someone is doing something right. Compere Dan Willis began with a few gags about his fiancé and the stresses he’s going through performing six hours each day in the Fringe, which played well with a crowd who’d put in nearly as many hours drinking as he has joking. He has an easy chatty way with the audience and we were quickly into the meat of the evening, five minute sets from comics from the north east of the UK, or at least comics who could present a case in a court of law that they have some vague type of connection with the north east.
First up was some home-grown talent sprung from Edinburgh, a young man who delivered a series of two liners. He was pretty comfortable in front of the crowd and his material, chiefly dealing with erections and wanking was spot on for what the crowd want to hear, and set the tone for the evening.
Next up was Carl Hutchison, based in Manchester, who commanded the room with his forthright delivery which is snappy and to the point. He has a calm assurance in his presence and his material that made us believe in it too. The third performer was George Zak, originally of Greece, who now makes his home in Newcastle. He had the most solid material of the night; he joked about what a ‘safe’ city Newcastle is, and mused on the cultural differences between Greek drivers and those from the United Kingdom. He has excellent timing and a friendly likeable manner.
Next was Erin Melville, the fiancée of Dan Willis and thus an honorary Northerner. She seems a less experienced comic: she rushed some of her material, and her Jock and Geordie accents failed to impress, but she was still warmly received by the cheerfully inebriated audience.The final performer is ‘uber-jock’ Obie, Willis’ partner in the Jock and Geordie enterprise. He is an experienced comedian, with solid timing and delivery and he gets predictable laughs at his predictable punch lines.
In essence this is not a mind-blowing show, but it is a fun hour and it’s nice to see comedy made by the North East making the NE laugh. Also, it is free, which surely will appeal to all the stingy stingers out there.