This month’s comedy night at the Bramall at the University of Birmingham sees a change of room, with a smaller audience congregating in one of the ‘domes’ on the top floor of the building, making for a more intimate comedy gig than the main hall allows. And with most of the university’s students being at home for Easter it soon becomes clear that this is, in Nathan Caton’s words, a very “non-student student gig”.
Craig Murray compères (failing, I was later informed, to mention that he is in fact the face of the Plusnet adverts). Here we have a prime example of a comedian who knows how to work a room; there was none of the anxiety that often comes with an MC’s opening skit, where they inevitably pick on a few unfortunate audience members. Murray did speak to many members of his audience but his friendly demeanour eliminated any nerves. His anecdotes are packed with energy, effortlessly finding hilarity in the mundane whilst also proving himself to be excellent at bouncing off the audience’s ideas, allowing an enjoyable atmosphere to emerge.
The first act to be introduced is Australian Damian Clark, a powerhouse of comedic frenzy. Almost childlike in his excitement at apparently everything he experiences, he is incredibly endearing as a performer. Damian was able to comment on British culture whilst being one step removed from those he talks about, having only lived in England for four years, and he doesn’t claim to understand everything about the culture, which is in itself something not often seen within stand up performers. Getting worked up about seemingly monotonous aspects of life, Clark’s material builds in its absurdity as it progresses, even becoming rather sinister towards the end of his set, which, he notes, ran over considerably, perhaps by almost fifteen minutes. Neither he nor the audience seemed to mind.
The final act on the bill, as alluded to earlier, is the markedly laid-back Nathan Caton. His perspective on numerous political and social issues is refreshingly down to earth, and he certainly does not fear stating controversial opinions, such as his sarcastic retorts about allegations against the late Michael Jackson. Not only can Nathan back up his bold claims, he also manages to squeeze every last laugh out of them, and one can’t help but wonder if he is saying what the majority of us are thinking anyway. Nathan Caton is touring the UK with his latest solo hour this year; purchase your tickets here.