Monday 20th July 2015 – Plymouth University. Mark Simmons – Laugh Yourself Thin; Danny Ward – St Vitus Dance

Two more Edinburgh previews at bargain price makes sure that we are sat in The House (as the venue is named) at Plymouth University and very much looking forward to the next two hours.

There’s a decent crowd in and we’d seen Mark several times between us –  and he’s always funny – although according to Dave I shouldn’t think that because “you don’t like one-liners or punsters”. However, Mark’s brand of one liner appeals to me a lot  more than some other comedians’.

The lads both introduce each others shows – Danny coming on first to introduce Mark and then vice versa.

Mark is one of the most understated comedians I know. The skeleton of the show is hooked on emails from his agent, tied to visual prop jokes, clipped to clever call backs and there are quietly dropped one liners like wee, ticking time bombs. His metaphorical and his real comedy prop table are set out immaculately and he picks up and replaces lines and items slowly and with great precision. The whole show seems polished and Edinburgh ready. Catch Mark at The Pleasance Courtyard at 9.15pm. One not to be missed if you can help it!

A break and then we are into the second show – Danny Ward’s St Vitus Dance; a title which Danny explains to us could have been a bit controversial because it’s the name of an illness, but as St Vitus is also the patron saint of comedians I think Danny has definitely got a free pass on this one!

Danny’s show seems to have changed hugely since our first viewing of it as “Back in the Bunker” at the Leicester Comedy Festival back in mid February.

I have always love Danny’s mannerisms and facial expressions – here he strides around, commanding the stage – spluttering his indignation at a myriad of modernities and therein lies the funny.

Hinged loosely on the structure of older technology being better than the new, harking back to times when mobile phones, music and other media were in their infancy, Danny’s show had many references that only people over a certain age would understand – we did and I was able to empathise with his sentiments as well as laugh at his delivery. The mixed age audience were also enjoying themselves.

Find Danny and St Vitus Dance, also at The Pleasance Courtyard, 7:05pm.

Danny Ward, Mark Simmonds

Danny Ward, Mark Simmonds

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