23 September 2009

More comedy at The Willoughby

Where does the time go? It is five months since I last attended a comedy night at The Willoughby and vowed to go back. As in April, the spur to attend this time was winning a free ticket in the Pub Quiz (as well as another one of the infamous swearing parrots).

The comedy shows are hosted by The Willoughby Arms (my current local) but are organised and promoted by Terry the Stand Up, who use various venues across the South East.

The Willoughby does its bit superbly by providing a comfortable function room (though everybody comments that the sound proofing does make it look rather like a padded cell) and an excellent range of beers (and probably other drinks too, but I've never tried them).

The weak link in the chain is Terry who did little, if anything, to promote the event so the only people there were a few Willoughby regulars. The plus side of this was that it made the event more intimate and the comedians were able to get to know all of the audience, except my mate Pete who somehow managed to escape their attention; not sure how he managed that.

The format was as before with three sessions, or halves as the compère inaccurately called them, with ten minute refuelling breaks between them. In the three halves we had two, three and one comedian with a seventh holding the whole thing together.

Perhaps it was because we had one more comedian than before or perhaps they cut the sets down because of the smaller audience but most of the comedians seemed to do little more than a five minute try-out before rushing off stage to make way for the next one. This did not allow much time to build up a rapport and definitely impacted the quality of the evening.

But the biggest impact on the quality was the comedians themselves who, while generally amusing, were never riotously funny and never seemed to sustain their comedy much beyond one good gag in a row.

This all sounds rather disappointing, and it was compared to the first time I went, but it was still just about good enough to tempt me back again. Not sure that my friend will want to go back though.

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