MAGNIFICENT MARQUEE MERRIMENT
A cold, frosty, winter’s night and we were in a tent! Well ok, a marquee, and a heated marquee at that courtesy of Plymouth Albion Rugby Club. We were in for a relatively infrequent experience, in that two of the three billed comedians were to be new to us. Definitely something to which we were looking forward!
Having sat ourselves down in the second row, Dave with one of the club’s infamous two pint plastic glasses, filled to the brim with a fermented apple product, clutched in his fist and me with a smaller one, we awaited the entertainment.
Chris Brooker was our compere as always for the Plymouth Comedy Club’s night here on Friday and on the Saturday up at Derriford Health & Leisure (well apart from recently when he was tied up elsewhere) and soon had the punters onside with his mix of finding out who was in his audience and some classic banter. Several young lads in the row behind us came in for some rapid fire humour, and we discovered that the one who looked like he should still be in school uniform, was, or so he said, a bus driver!
Jeremy O’Donnell, our opener, was a treat. Completely unknown to us and hailing from East London, was a very confident start to the billing. Observational and cheeky, he had a spot of perfect, audience related comic timing at the tail end of a joke about his washing machine that had the whole tent in stitches – Dave was snorting like a charging bull and I couldn’t breathe – we all had to be told to calm down so Jeremy could get on with the rest of his material. There was another uproarious story around his young son having a lie-in which had us all holding our ribs – what a starter for the evening!
Into a break, which didn’t need our drinks topping up thanks to the huge vase of liquid Dave was still downing, and onto our middle act – the fab Steve Bugeja. A comic AND a writer, twice seen by us in Edinburgh (Amused Moose final in 2013 and mc’ing the Comedy Zone in 2014 – show 270 of the Guinness record). Young and slender, Steve is also into the observational stuff, but this time from a geeky point of view. I loved his material around what makes a lad noise and also he does a fabulous twist on festivals which I’m not going into here – if he comes to a comedy club anywhere near you – he is well worth your ticket money.
Our last break, in which Dave partook of another vat – err sorry, glass of cider and then into our headliner, the (as we soon discovered) inimitable and multi talented Nick Doody. A political animal, recent events around the Paris tragedies were not to be left alone. Nick isn’t afraid to bring up the darker stuff – he thinks anything can be funny if told in the right way.
He’s not PC and isn’t scared either, of telling it like it is when it comes to the British class system (yes – we all know it’s still there despite political correctness having gone mad) and the crowd appreciated the accents that won’t be heard on any ski slope, anywhere near you, anytime soon.
I also loved his “phrases I hate”, Dave and I rocking with laughter and in recognition at one in particular which must resonate around most houses at least once or twice a week where two people live together!
All in all – we think Plymouth Comedy Club excelled themselves with this line-up. Absolutely top class trio plus Chris in his usual excellent MC form. For our first show of the year, this set a VERY high standard for the rest to follow.