This week welcomed the sixth instalment of the University of Birmingham’s comedy night with David Morgan, James Dowdeswell and Adam Kay performing.
David Morgan was the night’s compère and also happens to come from Birmingham himself (if Solihull counts). He effortlessly cracked the formal atmosphere that such a beautiful music hall inevitably brings with his un-floundering energy and cheeky conversational style. Morgan expertly intertwined humorous personal stories into his interactions with the audience, which ensured his performance didn’t come across as forced which is an obvious obstacle for many MCs. His set was diverse but he tied all the threads together well, talking about his family, childhood and the prospect him and his boyfriend having children themselves one day.
Next was James Dowdeswell, who also showed that he is comfortable talking to an audience and incorporating those interactions into his comedy. With mannerisms that reminded me of Hugh Dennis, Dowdeswell reminisced of the time he met Stephen Fry, which gave him the opportunity to showcase his uncanny impersonation of him. As his set progressed it became clear that this comedian is rather accomplished at performing accents, which definitely enhanced his funny anecdotes about his hometown and experiences of mugging.
Adam Kay, who co-wrote Crims, is not someone I had previously associated with stand up comedy, but I have since learned that he is quite a fantastic musical comic. His demeanour on stage is considerably sinister and, beginning with his darkest material, he certainly set the tone for some distasteful comedy that wicked people like me thrive on. Kay adapts many pop songs: adding new lyrics to develop wacky concepts with the chorus often becoming the ‘punchline’ to the core joke. In this sense, these musical interludes feel a little like stand-alone one-liners, but Adam’s clear aptitude for playing the piano was refreshing enough to avoid the occasional stale atmosphere that one-liners can build.
And so, another wonderful comedy night at the University of Birmingham drew to a close and I am already looking forward to the next event in May.