A Rush of Laughter

Comedy Club
The Lantern Theatre
Sunday 1st April 2012

Reviewed by Jennifer Keegan

As I walked into the Lantern Theatre for a stand up comedy night I was instantly as ease, it has that quaint little theatre’s charm, independent with plenty of personality. As we settled at the bar, the very friendly barman made us welcome, the owner Siobhan came over to say hello and introduce herself which gave it that personal touch missing from bigger and more mainstream theatres. The exposed brick walls adorned with quirky art, the black curtains full of silver butterflies, even the mismatched tables and chairs gave the bar a laid-back bohemian vibe.

As we made our way to our seats, we were met by the compere, Adam Rushton. Rushton tried his best to liven up a rather stiff audience, he was friendly funny rather than punch line funny, engaging the audience and encouraging their involvement. Throughout the gig he led a tireless pursuit of laughs and participation. He got the big laughs with giving members of the audience nicknames and a bit of a hard time. He has the makings of a great comedian and with a livelier crowd he would have really soared.

First on was Tony Basnett, from the North East his accent and his hometown became the butt of his immediate jokes. Basnett seemed most comfortable in silly humour, encouraging a bit of air guitar action from audience members. He was playful and quick witted, I thoroughly enjoyed his performance. He made a gaffe in referencing the Sun newspaper to a Liverpool audience, but the audience thought enough of him to let it slide. Afterwards outside he admitted he cringed when he went backstage and his mistake was pointed out to him, but even then the Scousers outside let it go in a generous manner.

Second on the bill was Liam Pickford, he began by picking on an older lady in the front row, sexualising her and making suggestions in that manner. He then proceeded to mumble and ramble his way through his set. He claimed having no structure was 'his thing', which might have been cool if he got laughs, but he didn't. At most he got a titter when he made jokes about American pie. He even admitted it wasn't going well, possibly his way of trying to be too cool to care, but as a comedian, you are meant to care if your audience finds you funny. He wasn't well received but maybe if he stuck with sarcasm it would be better, as this was the only laugh he got from me when he made a sarcastic comment.

The headliner was Sully o Sullivan, a New Zealander who was every bit the seasoned professional. He discarded the mike and immediately hit the ground running with a well prepared, well planned set. It was clear he had travelled the world making people laugh as he jokes focused on worldwide themes but it was his political stance that really made for big laughs. From politics, race, religion and sexuality, to football, fashion and drinking, he moved from topic to topic with total ease. The audience responded with the request for an encore, even for that he didn't disappoint. Talented as he is, he breezed through the encore leaving the audience laughing all the way home.

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Sorry Comments Closed

Comment left by joe on 23rd April, 2012 at 14:31
In reading this review I found the reviewer to be rather lacking in wit and humour. The stiff 'this happened and then this happened' feel to the piece was resonant of a primary school show and tell. When reviewing a comedy piece one would expect at least the most subtle hint of comic awareness and appreciation, however the lack of genuine observation to key underlying comic themes and knowledge of different comic styles rids the piece of any credible authority and effectively invalidates the opinions of the author. A funny writer should review comedy, an intrinsic lack of knowledge is blatantly visible here. And is the author really talking about the Liam Pickford from Manchester, who won the Chortle Comedy Awards there? All in all a very dry and boring review, only offering immediate inward opinion and lacking in deeper observation thus failing to be an appealing read. Waste of time.

Comment left by simon on 29th May, 2012 at 17:51
a friend of liams by any chance joe? saw liam at envy, awards or not, he stuggles to get laughs

Comment left by lanternlover on 29th May, 2012 at 18:08
firstly, i think simon - you may have meant he struggles to get laughs. secondly, Joe, at no point did she claim to be a "funny reviewer", she is simply a reviewer and as such she is entitled to an opinion. one that was shared by most of the audience at the gig at the Lantern that night. i think your scathing attack of this review only highlights your affiliation to the comedian she didn't rate. note to your friend, if he was funny people would have laughed. they didn't. don't blame the reviewer for that.