Tony Cowards, Mark Restuccia, Katie Field, Jamie Gosney, Matt Price
The second event and still a free night with comics provided by Mirth so off we trotted to Tamerton Foliot’s Kings Arms to see if they had learned from the first night when inexperience on the part of the management had meant that THAT night’s comics had a very hard time.
And yes! The comics had their own space right from the start with seats and tables arranged and ready to go. We were there early and had time to kill before we kicked off so we got ourselves a “wee refreshment” and settled in the second row, safely out of harm’s way. The audience trickled in slowly and for a time we were worried that there were going to be more comedians than customers but eventually the room was a little more respectable. Further on in the evening more were to join, causing problems for our headliner but more of that later.
A couple of the comics we had seen before but not for a very long time (Tony and Mark) and Matt our headliner we had seen several times locally too, plus twice in Edinburgh at the last two Fringe Festivals.
Tony Cowards was our MC for the night. Tony is a groanworthy punster, but a capable MC, throwing out the banter and getting to know the punters. If an MC’s job is to warm up the audience and break the ice, then he more than fulfilled his remit. Tony’s not in Edinburgh this year – but here is a link to his guide to the Edinburgh Fringe written a couple of years ago: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/tony-cowards/guide-to-edinburgh-fringe-comedy_b_1685266.html
Our first act tonight was Mark Restuccia. Comedian, writer, actor and voice over artist, dark of hair and bearded, Mark told us stories about his mad flatmate, his blind cat and a stag trip to Blackpool that did not end well for an unexpected guest. Getting better as he warmed up to his act we liked him and if you want to see him he will be in Edinburgh this year at Just the Tonic at The Mash House, 31st July – 24th August 7pm.
Into a break and then back to Tony (no more puns please!!) to introduce our middle section, beginning with Katie Field.
Katie, from Bexhill-on-Sea, is a mature lady and has a gentle old school humour with lots of one liners and some material based around her two sons (one’s gay so she’s happy as she always wanted one of each). We finished with a (very loud) version of YMCA.
The second act in this section was Jamie Gosney. An observational style and self deprecating humour about having moved out of London to live in Somerset with his girlfriend. An inability to even programme his oven causing it to come on in the middle of the night is another source of irritation. No sign of nerves and a confident delivery makes Jamie a safe middle spot.
The usual second break and then onto our headliner, Matt Price. Despite constant, (and I mean constant) interruptions from late and lively punters streaming into the room now that the football had finished in the other room, Matt delivered a good set combining some of his older material with trying out some of his new Edinburgh show material.
Price is an excellent handler in the crowd control department and nothing seems to faze him which was just as well as we also had one of the staff going in and out bringing in more beer for the late customers at the back. Matt is a master story teller and all of this disruption could not have been good for his train of thought, especially when it is new material but no, he held it together despite the heckles and the traffic flow remembering the call backs and keeping the crowd who had been in from the start from losing interest because of the constantly opening door. I think this is one of the drawbacks of a free night as if everyone was paying for their tickets from the start they might actually get in at the beginning and not just trickle in when they felt like it, being a pain for the dedicated comedy fans and for the hardworking comic. Just my opinion.
Matt Price is in Edinburgh this August with his show The Maryhill Dinosaur at the Counting House Loft, 5.45pm, free entry. It will be cracking – so go!