Review – Screaming Blue Murder, Underground at the Derngate, Northampton 11th February

Another Comedy night last Thursday, please see an earlier blog entry for general details. Absolutely packed they were, they had to bring in extra chairs and the volunteer ushers worked their socks off to make sure everyone had a seat. Well done to them!

Dan Evans was the compere again, new jokes, they didn’t always work but that didn’t matter as he is excellent at being self-deprecating, which made it funnier.

Karen BayleyFirst act was Karen Bayley, we thought she had a great set, full of funny content, maybe more geared toward making women laugh rather than men. I saw quite a few younger guys looking quite stoney-faced through her set, but I’m old enough to realise that if you try to have a good time, generally you do! A nice segment about what happened when she went to a swingers’ party, threw her car keys in the middle, but was the only one who did… My only criticism would be that she could have worked the crowd just a bit more. But she had lots of good content so it didn’t matter too much.

Ron VaudrySecond was Canadian Ron Vaudry, very quick witted, fast to react to the crowd, the setting, the lights, his total “performance environment”. Nice observations about life in England from a Canadian’s point of view. Right on the centre of the front row was a senior local police officer (a D C no less) with his son – this had been winkled out of him during Dan Evans’ introductory banter – and it was enjoyable to watch Ron Vaudry’s slight discomfort at telling jokes involving drug taking and drink driving!

Roger MonkhouseLast was Roger Monkhouse, who had an unusual style with a slightly young fogey persona, occasionally stuttering (deliberately I’m sure) with his “I can’t quite understand the world today” observations. He admitted to being 45 and that’s why he’s now becoming a grumpy old man. Hmmm. I’ve got a few years on him but I’m not grumpy. Actually he wasn’t grumpy – more wistful in a bemused sort of way. Anyway again very good content, possibly could have done with more interaction with the audience, but all three acts went down very well and a bunch of very happy people emerged from the theatre at 10.55 last night. Brilliant value! No more comedy for a few weeks but we are seeing End of the Rainbow later this week to which I am really looking forward.

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