Chris Norton-Walker, David Tsonos, Sandi Smith and Mark Felgate
We decided against the noodle option and ate before leaving home – so it wasn’t the usual early hour when we presented ourselves at the B-Bar for their monthly comedy offering – in fact there were only two seats left and of course, yes you know it, they were right on the front row. Sometimes we’re ok with the front row seats; after so many hundreds of performances, we class ourselves as fairly bulletproof, but sometimes it’s nice just to sit back and watch and laugh while others take the flak.
There had been a couple of changes in the line-up and now we had two comics we knew and two we didn’t. The first unknown was Chris Norton-Walker, our MC for the evening. Chris is a big guy with a big stage presence. With a self effacing wit and plenty of sharp banter, some of it directed to one particular commentator (heckler) in the back row to our right, Chris very shortly had the very full room in complete “warmed up” mode.
Our opener David Tsonos was another name on our “as yet unseen” list. Setting out his stall right at the beginning, he apologised at how he sounded and then we were asked to guess where his accent was from. It took a punter or two to guess but eventually someone shouted “Canadian” and so he was. Tsonos is also a writer and director with tv credits to his name also.
With a laid back style and an almost permanent grin on his face, David tried to get his material out there, but was constantly interrupted by several members of the audience including the “commentator”, making it quite hard work for him. However, I heard enough to hope that we get to see him again in a slightly less rumbustious room!
The usual break, then onto Sandi Smith as our middle spot. What else to say about Sandi that we haven’t before? She delivers a smooth, tight set, which always goes down particularly well. The ladies (especially the slightly more mature ones) love her because she expresses well in her material just what it’s like to be of that age group. Anyone with a teenage son or daughter will appreciate her jokes, and then we go onto the stuff around the older lady’s body…not to be repeated here and not for the faint hearted!
Our second break flies by and soon we are sitting down again for the highly likeable Mark Felgate, another act that we’ve seen several times, Mark never fails to amuse us. He is a accomplished ventriloquist and his voice plays more than one part in his act. As a child he had more in common with a certain black seventies singer than you might think and he can pick his way around a guitar too, penning his own comedic songs. He has a well rehearsed, confident and quirky delivery and I’ve never seen a crowd yet that doesn’t love him. A headlining, safe bet.
Sandi, Chris, David and Mark.