13th March – Bigmouth Comedy, Royal Seven Stars, Totnes

Line Up: Chris Brooker MC, Danny Pensive, Kiri Pritchard-McLean, Paul McCaffrey. In anagram form ‘Her Ribs Crook’, ‘Penis Envy Dan?’, I’m Crinkled Patriarch’, ‘Lacy Cream Puff’.

Our first night at this venue, Totnes’ original comedy club, back after a break following a fire at the hotel/bar/restaurant at which it is based. Having been to several of the nights supplied by and compered by Chris Brooker we were expectant of great things.

The venue itself is great, in an upstairs grand room, probably more used to wedding receptions than comedy nights. A big crowd settled for the start of this night and as with most nights compered by Chris, he did not have to work too hard to get a crowd who were already well up for it, ready for the main acts of the evening. Chris is, by far, the best compere we know. He has a wealth of material and plays on current topics and the venues themselves, we have yet to see him repeat any material.

And so onto our opening act, the sublime Danny Pensive from Sunderland. A very surreal act, part geek, part obsessive, part Aspergers victim, all funny. We adored his little songs, his book of observations, and geekiness. We would gladly spend more time with this really original comic.

A break and then Kiri Pritchard-McLean a lovely Welsh lady. And having had a chat before the gig a really interesting person, who gave me some really good pointers on acts to look out for. Material on her looks, love, relationships and other observations which had the crowd hooked and with her all the way. Another wonderful performer we would love to see again.

A final break and before Chris brought on the headliner. He got a guy called Jeremy to sit in a throne like chair front centre of the audience. This was really funny, until headliner Paul McCaffrey came on and decided he liked the look of me and replaced Jeremy with me on the Papal throne for his set. He also elicited that we had travelled from Saltash and we drove a Peugeot 107. A car he claimed was not a real model. So much so he had me doubting my own sanity. Paul really is a class act, his rants on what seem mundane are legendary and tonight was no exception. The last time we saw him in Exeter last July he was brilliant, with largely the same set then as he did on Russell Howards Good News Extra which you can probably catch online. Tonight he had a little bit of the old and loads of new material. We laughed so much that it hurt. And of course I had the best seat in the house. Though it was really weird being sat away from Carole at a gig for a whole act. This night was a benchmark for the rest of year, absolutely superb.

We know there is another comedy night in Totnes and that there is reported hostility between the two organising groups at least from one side. but from a punters view we love both and as they both sell out and do not clash, there is clearly a demand for both. so stop squabbling and get on with it! Totnes is becoming a little comedy hotbed and long may it continue. Next night here will be May 13th. Get there if you can!

5/5

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Kiri, Chris, Paul and Danny

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Pope Dave I on his throne!

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