Flashes of Brilliance at the Lytehouse.
An early arrival in Brixham (thanks to some venue location confusion) saw us wandering around the harbour area , tummies rumbling, waiting for the Lytehouse to open. The comedy ticket included food and we were hungry.
Finally 7pm rolled up and we headed in to be given a choice of sharing with another couple we didn’t know a few tables back from action, or have a table for two on the raised area at the rear which also doubles as the comedians’ stage. We opted for the table for two only to find we were right on the pathway to the loos. Oh well, we had the choice…so all our own fault.
Thankfully, soon we were both tucking into a platter of cheese and a bottle of red was on the go (for me!)
At 8.15pm the comedy got underway and the venue owner introduced Adi Knight our MC for the evening. We’ve seen Adi before at Annabel’s in Plymouth and he has a quiet comic style but with scathing comments slicing scalpel like from behind a sardonic grin. His jokes are dark and definitely not for the sensitive amongst us…anything and everything is fair game, quite literally. He shoved in the obligatory bit of audience interaction as is to be expected from an MC and several audience members were picked on but at this point the mostly middle-aged and middle class audience were very well behaved.
Soon enough Adi brought on our first act, Paul Ricketts. We’ve also seen Paul before, more than once at the Ski Lodge in Plymouth, most notoriously of all when he headlined there and was, to Plymouth’s shame, subjected to racist abuse from one large table of EDL types, which pretty much wrecked the end of that evening. Not a nice memory for us or him.
This was a Paul with completely different material from then; there was some stuff on his colour, his similarity to Whoopi Goldberg and racist heckles he has had. He has also recently (incredibly given his appearance) turned fifty and some of his stuff was about his age and “the three ages of man”. Paul has definitely developed his material and his confidence since we last saw him and I was quite impressed by the difference.
After Paul we went into a break and then back to Adi who gave us a bit more of his own material and had to come out with some effective put downs to a couple of women who were talking to each other across his act; then introduced Tony Roberts an Australian who we had not seen before. Tony’s comedy style is quite difficult to describe…but funny for all that. I wasn’t too sure at first as he seemed quiet and a little hesitant as if testing out the crowd with his material, but after a few minutes he seemed to settle into himself and gave us some comedy gold with tales of his late marriage and the arrival of a daughter, now four, who is very upfront and has the tactless style of the very young…”I have lovely skin daddy, your skin is dying isn’t it?” A good solid middle act, and setting the scene for our headliner.
Our second break didn’t last too long and soon we had Adi back again with a quick intro of Nick Page, last seen by us at the Maritime Inn in Plymouth about eighteen months ago.
Nick has an act that does not allow for audience interaction…a fact he makes clear as he very cleverly deconstructs his act as he goes along; he talks fast and you’d better pay attention and keep up or you’re going to lose the thread and miss just how good he is. Our lady talkers piped up again and were rapidly dealt with in a way that needs to be applauded, in fact Nick got a round of applause at his reaction to them which comprised of a very quick put down and then, when they tried to heckle back, they were quite simply ignored and talked over as if they weren’t there, Nick just got on with his material and treated them like white noise…I wanted to stand and applaud Nick for this quite devastating way of dealing with boring interrupters who have no idea how to behave at comedy…it’s not about them and we don’t pay to see them or hear them. Acts who give these people “air time” and reward them by talking back to them to try and get the better of them which only encourages them to be even more annoying, should take a “Page” out of Nick’s book. For tonight at least, it worked a treat.
A good night’s comedy, and definitely worth the trip. Cheers Lytehouse!
Anagrams: Tony Roberts – Bronte Story, Paul Ricketts – Captures Kilt, Nick Page – Pace King, Adi Knight – A Night Kid.
Afterthought. Another Mirth Gig with changes we did not know about! Originally Yianni was due to be doing this night and was shown on Mirths webpage, then there was no named headliner, then a couple of weeks before it was changed to Nick Page. We were quite happy with this line-up as the two open spots were new to us and Nick and Paul, although familiar faces to us, we had not seen for well over a year. Original lineup was due to be MCd by Nicky Wilkinson who we have seen twice this year. So of the lineup which we booked for had 4 acts which fitted our criteria. When we turned up, despite checking the Mirth site for changes 2 hours before and finding none, we had a change of MC and one of the open spots had dropped out and not been replaced. So pretty true to form for any Mirth gig we attend.
This was our 259th and final gig of 2013. So a big thank you to all the nearly 500 different acts that have entertained us this year.
2014, will see a different emphasis on the shows we will be attending with strict criteria on how we choose them. Our main focus is on Machynlleth and then Edinburgh so most of the local and largely poor quality club shows will have to be dropped because of finances, gone are the days when we can just afford to see anything. it is now quality, rather than quantity that we are looking for.