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Are You Not Entertained? Stitches Comedy at The Talking Heads

8th April 2011

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As Ricky Gervais made a career out of showing, there are few social situationsmore excruciating than watching someone trying to be funny and failing.When on stage it’s one of those things where the emotional resonance is sostrong you actually get sympathetic pains from watching them crash and burn. So I hope that you readers comprehend the potential horrors and misery I potentially face on a weekly basis in the name of journalism.

MC Will had the job of introducing the various acts and keeping the momentum going, which he largely did quite well, even though he perhaps needed to work on the spontaneity and improvisational abilities such a role requires. The open mic section was first, with a few tasteless jokes about the Japanese earthquake that weren’t funny the first time your obnoxious mate posted them on Facebook (4/10).

After ten minutes or so of polite tittering and awkward silences was out of the way, we were allowed to get onto the ‘proper’ comedians.

Tom Jordan seemed to be far wittier with more insightful comedy, though perhaps didn’t quite ‘stand out’ particularly (7/10), while Jordan Brookes played the classic awkward-comedian-not-comfortable-in his-own-skin, with a great flair for delivery (8/10). Matthew Hallet probably had the best crowd interaction skills, with what seemed like large parts of his act semi-improvised (9/10).

Sam Shafer was another character based comedian, who in his routine was so socially stunted he would not make eye contact and talked throughout his set in atotal monotone. While this was admittedly a deliberate quirk of his comedy character, he perhaps needed to get a better balance of personality and joke telling (7/10). Last up was Wayne the Weird, who mixed some magician stuff into his routine. It’s a good idea considering how much magic and stand-up have in common, but his main strength was actually a stream of excellent one-liners and anecdotes (8/10).

Overall, a pretty good night, that was slightly let down by the open mic slots

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