Last Thursday I visited Bramall Hall at the University of Birmingham for the third instalment of their fantastic comedy night. It was great to see a very busy venue this time, as opposed to the relatively small numbers I had seen in previous months, perhaps due to the fact the names on the bill seem to get bigger each month.
Ivo Graham was the night’s compere and showed an impressive ability to build a set around the answers of the few people he questioned, whilst remaining open to the audience as a whole. Only a small portion of what was said was obviously material and Graham seemed to derive most of his laughs from impulsive remarks as his energy bounced of the audience. With a love for Mario Kart, Ivo Graham is a wonderfully endearing loser (like the majority of us deep down) and was able to laugh at himself without it seeming constructed or forced.
First up was Holly Walsh, who I’ve watched for years on numerous television shows, particularly panel shows like Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Mock The Week, but more recently on Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled. Holly brings a lovely enthusiasm to a room and has such a delightfully positive vibe about her, and as she pointed out, she sounds ridiculously sweet when she swears, so it doesn’t have the desired effect. Introducing herself as “Holly. Or if my parents are telling me off, Holiver,” it was great to finally see this funny woman in person.
Nathan Caton was a name and face that I knew, but I hadn’t seen that much of his stand up as I’d only ever seen him on shows like Mock The Week and Good News. Caton’s personality on stage is brilliant; he is cool and relaxed, with material spanning family, politics and race, amongst others. His impressions of his grandmother got the audience laughing the most, and were my favourite part of the night, as well as his newfound fear of white women in dark alleyways.
This comedy night just keeps getting better and better, and I truly can’t wait for next month (check the line up to see why).