These were the first two of four consecutive days comedy to celebrate my 50th Birthday.
We nearly didn’t travel to Truro as we found out the morning of the gig that the venue had changed hands the week before and the new owners did not have any seating. So we were told the event would be standing only. Fortunately the organisers rallied round and a motley assortment of seating including church pews was put together. Fortunately, there was a seat for everyone, due to a slightly smaller crowd than you would expect for the calibre of headliner we had.
Seating dramas over, the gig started with our old MC for the night, big up and comer Luke Honnoraty (Thank you loner), who we have seen a lot of over the last year, but not during 2013. We have seen him MC many times and he was born for it, oozing confidence. And this is justified as he has the material to back it up, with old favourite tales of pranks and plenty of new strong material to work on. We like his stately home tale, his new stuff relating to a severed finger in a kitchen where he worked, his crimewatch prank. And he finished with a recording of a phone prank involving a local bakery. He continues to go from strength to strength.
Opening act tonight was London beatbox and loop pedal comic Joe Charman (Majorca hen). We are suckers for musical comics but a bit apprehensive about this style. But we were pleasantly surprised with Joe, he showed real enthusiasm for his craft, had an amazing smile throughout and clearly loved what he was doing. And the four songs he did were all funny, Gangsters, Punjabi Hip Hop, Jimmy Saville and Breakfast. A really enjoyable start to the evening.
Second up, Ben Adams (Mad beans) also from London, who comes from the darker side of comedy. With a stream of gags designed to offend, he achieved what he set out to do. Some of the puns were cleverly crafted ala Gary Delaney, but you could gauge his reception from the laughs coming from the young male contingent and the women mostly scowling. Carole was not impressed and several of the women had a discussion in the loos in the interval and that was the general feel. Ben is an exponent of the three R’s. Rectums, Rape and Rabbits, a sick individual, but we all know that serves Frankie Boyle very well. Not for us though.
And, so to our headliner, Patrick Monahan (Carpathian Monk). The nicest comedian we know, always with a word for everyone, and he remembered us straight away from two nights we spent with him last year. He is a performer without equal for riffing off the crowd and that is pretty much all he got to do here tonight as a drunk Welshman was trying to claim the gig for his own. Pat was great again and we found all the interruptions an annoyance, but it did not spoil the gig. A good night, but not brilliant like the following night was to be.
And so to the Hen and Chickens and Patrick Monahan again, this time doing his solo show, this time with a much bigger, more respectful crowd that was more fitting to Pat’s status and skill. He came on Bollywood dancing and this was mentioned through the show as Pat has recently taken part in a Bollywood film. The first half of the show was more riffing off the crowd, with a son and his dad being lightly teased about being each others wingman. Pat made a promise to set up single dad before the end of the night. I got a surprise of a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ sung Acapello by some nice ladies. Two companies became the focus of a lot of material. Before we knew it, and interval came, and Pat had already overrun and done over an hour of material. A hilarious start to the second half, when Pat’s own Voice of God introduction, led to him not coming out, as one of the barstaff had accidentally locked him in a cupboard at the side of the stage. The second half saw some prepared material along with more riffs. A focus at this point was Ralph, from one of the companies, who came in for a lot of good hearted banter. The night ended with Pat getting dad paired off during an updated version of his disco routine. We looked at our watches, he had played over 2 1/2 hours. which flew by. Nothing to cause offence, all funny, another brilliant performance from one of the best, certainly our favourite. We always get something new and fresh. Roll on June the 1st and Totnes. We had some friends with us, who do not normally do comedy, and they all said they really enjoyed themselves too.