So, I have been putting off writing this review from Thursday as I really wasn’t sure where to start.
Now that I have actually started, I realise that I was a bit unprepared as we saw four acts on the night, and I only remember the names of two of them, so I can’t even do a decent review! What a rubbish blogger I really am!
The Guffaw Comedy Club has been at the Rose & Crown Theatre Pub in Walthamstow for a while now, but I had never been. Thursday was the last night of the current season (apart from 4 nights in July where there is a fantastic line-up including Richard Herring) and so I was convinced to go along.
The two girls that I went with had been to every show bar one, and said that it had generally been good, and that the headline acts were always really good. I hadn’t been upstairs into the theatre since they ripped out the bar – it makes a huge difference to the room. And the removal of the overly sticky carpet has been a vast improvement too. About 14 years ago, I used to do bar work over the R&C and I used to HATE having to work in the upstairs bar when there were functions!
Susan Murray is the compere/organiser for these shows and even though she’s been moaning about having a cold on Twitter, she seemed on great form 🙂 So, the first guy (whose name I don’t remember) came on. He is actually from Walthamstow Village and I found him very amusing and personable. I liked him!
Next was another one whose name I can’t remember. He started off good, lost it a little in the middle I think, and then ended well with a song on his ukelele about stalking, which he sang to one of the girls I was with and which I found pretty funny. He was right, dark, disturbing lyrics just become adorable ditties when you accompany them on a ukelele!
Then came Michael Kossew (see, I remembered a name!). He actually started off really really well – a sketch about the verb ‘to Michael’ someone, which was really funny. Then at some stage in the proceedings, he just seemed to get very very inappropriate.
Now, this is hard to explain. I am not easy to shock. I am not some kind of virginal ‘laydee’. BUT, I think it can be very uncomfortable in such an intimate setting to be, well…intimate! This is a pretty small room, and there were no more than about 20 in the audience, so, if you find something a little uncomfortable then there is nowhere to hide. It’s all very in your face! I am NOT a prude, but I almost felt like I was being forced to be. He’d done really well, and then he said “Have I got time to tell one more story?”…and if he hadn’t, I would’ve thought he was brilliant!
So, that was a little uncomfortable and then we had the headline act – Ian Cognito.
Now, I hadn’t heard of him before, and I had NO idea what to expect (as I said before, I only went along at the last minute, so hadn’t really thoguht about who was on!). The problem that I had with Ian isn’t that he wasn’t funny because some of his jokes were absolutely hilarious and I couldn’t help but laugh.
It was his delivery. To put it quite bluntly, I felt a little scared! He is sweary (which I can take), but he is also very shouty – and quite vitriolic. Again, I can imagine that this would be fine in a large setting. In fact, if this had been at a small theatre with an audience of a couple of hundred or so, I probably would’ve thought he was hysterical!
But it wasn’t. It was a small room above a pub with an audience of around 20. And he scared me! He shouted, he went red in the face, he punched things and I was worried he was going to chuck his pint at us!
In reviews I’ve read of him since, he gets compared to the likes of Bill Hicks – and I can see that. i just don’t want it completely in my face!
Talking to some others after, I think he split everyone pretty much boys/girls. The guys seemed to absolutely love him and couldn’t understand why the girls hadn’t as much. That was a new experience for me!
It was certainly an interesting night though – and it wont put me off going when the season starts again in October. Comedy is so individual, so personal – and the girls have been to loads of nights that they thought were great…so, hey – who knows what we’ll get next time?!
(Well, actually, I know I’ll get Richard Herring…)