Last week saw the fourth instalment of the University of Birmingham’s ever-growing comedy night with a stellar line up consisting of Andrew Ryan, Ben Norris and Romesh Ranganathan. This month undoubtedly saw the biggest crowd so far which was very nice to see.
Irish comic Andrew Ryan compèred the evening and he was one of the best I’d ever seen fill this difficult role, with unwavering energy and and effortless charm. In a way that reminded me of Jason Byrne (no, not just because he’s Irish), Andrew is very skilled at developing a unique set based on the audience on the night, from what I saw. A fifteen year old on the front row received most of the comedian’s conversation as he was so young, which was a near miss for me, being seventeen and on the front row myself!
Ben Norris was next, walking on with a stern face and surprising us all with his lighthearted style of comedy; I don’t think many people were expecting him to be so lovely, but he really was. With hilarious personal anecdotes broken up by a few fantastic one-liners, Norris presented a perfect blend of the topical and silly, with the dark and twisted. I laughed all the way through his set, particularly because his observations of aspects of politics and religion were spot on, and would definitely pay to see him again soon.
The last act of the night was one of my favourite stand up comedians, Romesh Ranganathan, and I was delighted to finally be able to see him live. Talking about his kids, one of whom is an “unacceptable human being”, Romesh’s comedy has something for people of all ages (he’d probably be horrified to hear that I am one of five girls, when he thinks three boys is ridiculous). His material is very specific to him, covering the things he has experience of such as parenthood, teaching, veganism and dealing with racism, all tied together with his trademark passive aggression and sarcasm.
It was a pleasure to finally see Rom in person and I will definitely be following what Andrew and Ben are up to from now on (and of course attending next month’s comedy night at the Bramall).