It is always a signal of a friendly, supportive atmosphere at a comedy gig when the compère decides to sit with the rest of the audience and watch the acts. That seems to sum up the feel of the monthly comedy nights at Bramall Hall in Birmingham, and is perhaps why audiences are consistently keen.
Daliso Chaponda is not a comic I was familiar with prior to Bramall Hall’s most recent comedy night but he is certainly an example of someone with a great enthusiasm and respect for the craft of stand up comedy, frequently being the one laughing the loudest at the rest of the evening’s entertainment. Chaponda himself is an extremely endearing performer, speaking in hushed tones with the audience quietening in order to listen. This somewhat delicate demeanour contrasts delightfully against the occasional expletive or crude remark, making his set one that ticked all the boxes, as well as providing that little bit of extra shock factor.
With this next act being the proud creator of live-action videogame The Dark Room (look it up if you haven’t already), I was unsure of what to expect from Australian comic John Robertson. I was expecting, however, that he would naturally require a microphone to amplify his voice across the relatively large music hall, but alas he did not. Robertson is the epitome of the naughty boy at school who everyone knows is an attention seeker (he is, of course, a stand up comedian) but is still the most popular boy in the class. Incredibly loud and well-articulated, this act surely won’t please every audience member but that didn’t seem to matter with so many people being on board from the get-go anyway. The next twenty minutes were a storm of unpredictability, shouting, audience interaction and ideas that weren’t always followed through, with the majority of us being left wanting more.
Ellie Taylor, last June’s Comedian of the Month and presenter of popular makeover programme Snog, Marry, Avoid, is a confident presence on stage, with an aptitude for audience communication as well as storytelling. Her height, while providing a space for material about her time spent as a model, allows Taylor’s stand up to take on a more physical element. The fact that this comedian is not afraid to be goofy or silly definitely works in her favour, with a warmth to anecdotes that ensures an immediate audience connection. Seeing a live performance from Ellie Taylor was something that had been on my to-do list for a long time and her set showed great promise for a fantastic new Edinburgh show in August 2016.