Review – Screaming Blue Murder, Underground at the Derngate, Northampton, 22nd February 2013

Angie McEvoyYet another full house at the Derngate for the Screaming Blue Murder club! Great news that it is tapping so successfully into the area’s communal funnybone. This time our host was Angie McEvoy. We’ve seen her a few times and she always a good laugh. I rather like her MC’ing style. She’s quite relaxed, and wants us to have a good time in an ostensibly caring sort of way. But she’s also deadly skilful at keeping order, and she played off the weird whims of the first few rows to great comic effect.

Keith FarnanThe first act was Keith Farnan, a long haired whirlwind of comic attack with plenty of genuine Irish blarney. He had lots of great material and he seemed to cover loads of subjects, so his act was always lively and fast moving. Nice tantric references! He was very popular with the crowd and we both rated him very highly.

Otiz CannelloniNext was Otiz Cannelloni, the only act whom we’ve seen before. I remember that we absolutely loved him when we saw him last time, and indeed he achieved a very respectable 2nd place in the 2010 Chrisparkle Awards for SBM Comic of the Year. I think he more or less repeated the identical act but it’s still extremely funny – a great mixture of word play and rapid fire wisecracking, and with a few clever bits of magic chucked in. He also has very nicely understated comic facial expressions, and his material is largely very clean; I’m no prude, but I do admire a comic who can bring the house down with the minimum of swearing.

Ian CognitoFinally the headline act was Ian Cognito, a rather splendid stage name (I assume!) He also has great attack and an assured level of self-confidence. He’s a kind of aggravated-bloke-down-the-pub character, and whilst his material was very funny his act lacked a little subtlety for my liking. His delivery is what Mrs Chrisparkle likes to describe as “relentless”, and, I have to admit, I did nod off towards the end. Probably a combination of jetlag and Sauvignon Blanc, I readily admit. He went down very well with the audience though.

More in two weeks’ time!

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