Review – Screaming Blue Murder, Underground at the Derngate, Northampton, 12th May 2017

Dan Evans‘Twas the night before Eurovision, and all through the house not a creature was stirring, because we’d all gone out to the Screaming Blue Murder comedy club. Our genial host Dan Evans was on cracking form as usual, sparring ever-so-gently with the people from TCL Landscaping, a 40-year-old birthday boy, a Jumbo-sized guy who dwarfed everyone around him – and Kate. Dan tried to rope Kate into a bit of banter but she wasn’t having any of it. But she didn’t just go coy and sheepish, she went on the offensive and all it went a bit Pete Tong. Sit anywhere near the front in a comedy club and you might end up part of the action. Dem’s de rules. Never mind, better luck next fortnight.

Debra Jane ApplebyOur first act was Debra-Jane Appleby, quite a posh name for someone who isn’t really that posh. We’d seen her here six years ago (gasp!) where she was our commère for the evening. This time we got to see her act and there’s no doubt about it, she’s really funny. She had some brilliant bits of business – like the visual image of your entitlement to a pension getting further and further away, and her material about trying to be gay because you don’t know until you’ve tried it. She’s also great with addressing her weight issues, in which capacity I can definitely feel her pain. A fab start to the evening.

Bobby MairNext up was Bobby Mair, new to us, and once seen never forgotten. A wonderfully warped sense of humour, he delivers his material as though he was your local friendly psychopath. He’s the kind of guy you can trust to say the wrong thing at a funeral. Indeed – he picked one guy at random from the audience and empathised that if his wife were to die, the benefit of it would be that he could at least f*ck a stranger. I loved his material about music festivals and their similarity to refugee camps; but he’s the kind of comic who keeps the material coming at irregular intervals which in itself unsettles you and pulls you up short with a devastating punchline out of the blue. I can say no more. Utterly brilliant.

Christian ReillyOur headline act was Christian Reilly, whom we’ve seen many times before and always puts on a tremendous show of musical comedy, parodying styles and performers, changing their lyrics and always for the better! His Bryan Ferry material was absolutely hilarious and as for his Donald Trump sequence… well yes indeed. He has just the right level of attack and he went down an absolute storm.

Three fantastic acts this week! One more Screaming Blue on 26th May before it hibernates for the summer. You should come!

Review – Screaming Blue Murder, Derngate, Northampton, 13th May 2011

Debra-Jane ApplebyThe last SBM was cancelled, and it’s been a full month since our last comedy night! So it was a welcome return to our usual Friday fun extravaganza. A new commere too! Debra-Jane Appleby. I thought she was perhaps a little nervous to start with, but she needn’t have been as she had an endearing personality and some cracking good lines which she used nicely with the audience, so we were good and warm for the first act.

Wil HodgsonAnd this was Wil Hodgson. Oh dear. I’m afraid I didn’t get the joke. He has no interaction with the audience whatsoever. I can see that his routine kind of requires him not to, but the first thing that happened when he started was that an attractive young lady from the front row got up and walked out – presumably to the loo or the bar. He didn’t remark on it, even though she virtually walked within 6 inches of him. And when she returned he didn’t mention it then either. He is the only comic we have seen who wouldn’t have taken this golden opportunity to bond with the audience. His routine is all about wry observations about the characters in his home town of Chippenham. I’m afraid they weren’t very interesting. And I am alas the wrong age to understand the concept of comparing people with Care Bears. Never mind.

Loretta Maine Second was Loretta Maine. A fantastic comic creation by character comic Pippa Evans. Loretta is a mascara running bunny boiler, who uses her guitar playing as a weapon against men and whose routine was a laugh a second. Much of her humour was incredibly sick, delightfully so. She interacted splendidly with the men in the audience, and her songs were great. Happily see her again!

Yianni Agisilaou Last up was Yianni (Agisilaou), an Australian comic of Greek origin, extremely funny and with a very warm personality. The kind of person you like to like. Too much good stuff in his routine to repeat here, but he has a terrific interaction with the audience; Mrs Chrisparkle was brought up in Australia, and so much of his humour struck a chord with her. Another comic we would definitely watch out for.

So all in all a great night!