Clare Cellars, Sun 29th April, 8.30pm
When I got to Clare Cellars (no mean feat considering how this place is cunningly concealed beneath Clare chapel) and found out this show was going to be two and a half hours long, I’ll admit that I was a little worried about what I’d let myself in for. However, this was a great show which ensured that time flew by.
Compere Jamie Mathieson was excellent and exceedingly funny. He didn’t do much in the way of introducing various acts or artists, but did contribute some excellent stand-up comedy to the evening. I must admit, however, that as a reviewer I did feel slightly threatened by his vicious but hilarious attack on a Tab reviewer. I shall therefore refrain from saying anything else about him, lest I be lampooned in his next routine.
The first act (Pierre Novellie), whom my friends and I affectionately termed the Big Friendly Giant, was also hilarious as he demonstrated both sharp wit and comic build-up. His derision of the military was especially funny, and as a fantasy geek, I especially appreciated his troll jokes. The middle three acts were, unfortunately, a tad lacklustre. Ahir Shah was funny, but clearly poorly prepared, and his patter was rather spoilt by his repeated need to check his notes and his frank admission that he hadn’t managed to learn most of his material, which, I felt, was a little more honest than was strictly necessary. Personally, I prefer to maintain the illusion that stand-up comedians are just effortlessly funny people who naturally spout brilliant witticisms and anecdotes without needing to plan it all out in a notebook before hand.
Phil Whang was the low-point of the evening, as his jokes were mostly just crude, with his discussion of vaginas leaving me more queasy than amused. However, Nish Kumar, the headline act, was absolutely fantastic and had me laughing so hard I thought I might choke. He has an excellent self-deprecating style and the perfect mixture of understated British humour and sharp-tongued knack for speaking the unspeakable. His querying of laddish slang frankly raised some excellent points – how did “getting lashed” become a positive term? His anecdotes were hilarious enough that I almost wished they were true, although I don’t think anyone could actually get into the number of messes he gleefully attributed to himself. Overall this was a very funny evening and an excellent break from revision. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking for a good laugh.