A Comedic Break from Valentines Day

George White reviews Comedy Society's Post-Valentines show while exploring the trials and tribulations of stand-up comedy.

The Comedy Society has put on a number of shows since the start of the year: having tested the waters with early shows, they’ve definitely had the chance to improve over time. However, there is certainly still plenty of room for further improvement – I look forward to seeing said improvement. But, for now, they’re still quite rough around the edges. 

Despite this, every performer did manage a couple of laughs from me, at the very least. This isn’t the Apollo, the odd awkward silence or distastefully joke is to be expected and it’s safe to say there were certainly significant peaks and troughs.

However, after a somewhat slow start, things began to pick up, and it was pretty much all uphill from there. There was however a small collection of significant blunders, most of which were, thankfully, played off amusingly. Others spiralled into train-wrecks. One performer, to use their own words, “went rogue”: in a moment of madness throwing their prompt sheets across the room, proceeding to be very lost without them. I questioned whether it was worth sacrificing a whole set for one throw-away joke (literally).

There was also a tendency to lean far too heavily on audience participation, which admittedly is an understandable crutch – but this isn’t pantomime. It also disheartened me that, on many occasions, the audience was considerably more whimsical than the comedians. There was a collection of diamonds to be found within the rough, especially within the second half of the show and I must commemorate the final act, given by the ever-self-deprecating Callum Pardoe, for being genuinely hilarious.

You have to appreciate how difficult it must be doing stand-up. I think it would pretty much be my worst nightmare. Therefore, hats off for all performers for having a go. Furthermore, I was astounded by the confidence of first timer Marcus Discombe. Even if jokes aren’t refined, just having a good stage presence is half the battle.

Most of the flaws were perfectly excusable – it is amateur comedy after all. So, all in all, I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Plus, it was for a good cause as the society managed to raise £79.15 for the British Heart Foundation. Soldier on through the less comfortable moments and you may be treated to some comedic moments by a few comical people.