It feels slightly weird to be at a comedy event sat behind a table with a picture of a toothless old man with an accordion staring up at you. But this is the cosy and slightly bizarre Stagefright Comedy Club, and the picture of the old man is the caption competition, the winner of which was to get two free tickets to the next show.
MC for the evening was award winning stand up and event organiser Anthony J Brown.
Brown stepped up to the stage, dressed in the attire of a cross between a Victorian gentleman and Micky from Only Fools and Horses.
He tried in vain to balance both a beer and a clock on a soft cushioned chair on the stage. After three minutes of this (according to the clock), a heckler advised him to put the beer on the clock, which he did, and the evening began.
Well known on the circuit for his deadpan delivery, Brown spent the first five minutes endearingly insulting the audience.
His humour was dark, but his appearance was that of a frightened puppy, so he got away with it to many laughs from the audience.
From then a flurry of comedians took to the stage from the mandolin-toting, risqué-song stylings of Elliot J Huntley to the bald one-line wonder Nick Parry.
The headline act, as well as the highlight of the evening, was Channel 4′s Phoenix Nights-famed actor and comedian Archie Kelly.
Kelly interacted well with the crowd, rowsing raucuos laughter from the crowd, as well as a few ‘ooh’s – the kind of noise people make when they suspect the comedian might have gone too far, but don’t have the ability to control their laughter.
In all, it was a very enjoyable evening. You got the sense that the comedians were used to working circuits and adapting to a crowd, and by the end of the night the MC seemed to know every person in the audience by name – a personal touch, and one I haven’t seen at a comedy event before.
His beer did eventually get spilled. And as for the caption competition, the best I could come up with was ‘That’s the last time I tell Granddad to put a cardi on’, but I didn’t dare submit it in case I was ridiculed. But now it is here for all of the internet to see.