The Jekyll and Hyde bar is a fantastically atmospheric location for any show and gave the perfect cosy yet still spooky setting to this stand up comedy gig. Squashed into a tiny room at the back of the bar, two comedians, Sean McLoughlin and Adam Hess, gave us half an hour of stand up each.
McLoughlin compered the show and quickly built up a steady rapport with the audience. This particular crowd were a little lively, which only worked for the better as it cemented a fun, easy going feel for the show. Hess did his set first and seemed rather nervous, to be honest. A likeable comedian, he speaks very quickly and sometimes his jokes can get lost. He seemed to have a lot of solid material with really amusing content, but his delivery didn’t grip the audience. Unfortunately he left himself open to the occasional heckle which he didn’t seem comfortable handling. The result was that the pace of the show began to slow. However, he picked up his set well, by staying focused on his material and getting the audience giggling with the standard ‘I’ve been dumped – feel sorry for me’ routine, which is starting to get a little old after hearing so many comedians moan about the same thing.
Fortunately, McLoughlin picked the energy of the show straight back up for his half of the gig. He delivers confidently and his timing is spot on. His anecdotes on how it feels to be broke (really really broke) had the audience in stitches as he comments that he has to make the daily decision of being hungry enough to eat an item of clothing just to get through the day. The hecklers continued to throw curveballs at McLoughlin, but he handled them like a true professional, making the show brilliantly spontaneous and much funnier. He developed bonds between certain crowd members and cleverly revisited previous jokes or links he had made, and soon even had a group of very hard to please financial advisors bellowing with laughter.
All in all, it was a very enjoyable hour, but my one piece of advice for these comedians would be to split up. Hess has a lot of potential, his material is edgy and witty, but he lacks the gumption to deliver it convincingly. McLoughlin is a real treat and left the audience wanting more.