MAYBE I’ve been spoilt by Mock the Week but Newcastle’s latest monthly comedy night in Gosforth was a bit of a let-down in the laugh department.
Although the Civic Hall has a decent stage, reasonably-priced beer and the £12 ticket price includes a tasty hot buffet, if the laughs aren’t coming thick and fast the night falls rather flat. A word of advice too: Don’t sit right at the front – not because you’ll be mocked mercilessly by the man with the mic but because those stage lights are damn hot. In a change to the original line-up, Stockport-based Liam Gallagher lookalike Mike Newall started proceedings and blimey was he laid-back. So laid-back that he’d forgotten to bring much material with him, in his first portion anyway.
Newall was relying on some improvised banter with the audience and it never quite came to fruition.
Next up was Mark Rough, a loud “Mackem Motormouth” with bags of confidence who offered a welcome contrast to Newall’s laconic style.
Although I’d heard some of his Heather Mills jokes before (cuprinol for suntan lotion, flip flips instead of flip flops etc), he was well-rehearsed and had a much higher gag per minute quota. The biggest laugh of the night, though, came from the unexpectedly filthy response of a respectable looking couple in the audience when asked why they went to Amsterdam.
Topping the bill was Steve Day (pictured), the UK’s only deaf comedian, who talked about the dilemmas of being a deaf man in a hearing world.
Now I don’t mind comedians who limit their material to a personal theme – if they’re funny – but Day’s routine just didn’t hit the spot for me. I even found my mind wandering off mid-way though his longer stories. I did like his Ricky Gervais style pop at PCism (“I’m deaf and my wife’s black. I only need to be a lesbian and I’ll have the full set”) and his anecdotes about when TV subtitles come out wrong raised a smile, but not a guffaw.
Unless he diversifies his act, I doubt there’s much mileage left in Day’s musings. The next comedy night is September 4. Hopefully when the Edinburgh Festival’s over they’ll be able to attract some better acts.