Royal Holloway’s Comedy Society is popular for one reason: everyone wants to laugh. There are around 20 regular members of the society as well as many others that attend and perform at specific events, making the eventual number of participants in the Comedy Society uncertain but high. The Santa Isn’t Real event on the 7th of December was a striking representation of what Comedy Society represents their dedication to the “appreciation and performance of comedy”, as the description of the society’s Student Union page states. Several students went up onto the stage at Stumble Out to make jokes, sing songs and perform skits about Christmas and Santa in honour of the season.
Stand-up comedy has gained notoriety and recognition in the last few years as an increasing number of stand-up comedians rise to fame. This is particularly seen through the increasing number of stand-up comedy specials that populate online streaming services such as Netflix. One place to see live comedy is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe every summer, in which RHUL Comedy Society has an annual show that they are starting to plan and organise now. It is a very exciting endeavour and the committee members are looking forward to new and interesting comedians to join the veterans in the show.
The society brought back one of their alumni members, Harun Musho’d, who studied English & Creative Writing between 2010 and 2013. He seemed very happy to return to Royal Holloway to perform for the comedy society, utilising the skills he learned as a part of the society in the past. Musho’d’s jokes were slightly more mature than the previous performers and had an element of ‘political incorrectness’ that earned some nervous chuckles.
The president Ned Sanders and the secretary Philipp Kostelecky not only organised the event along with social secretary Olivia Barry, they each also brought their own flavour of humour into their roles as the M.Cs and performers of the show. The audience seemed to enjoy the performances, bursting out in laughter often, suggesting that the performers succeeded in their comic takes on Christmas and the odd joke about believing in Santa. Performers like Martha O’Brien and Kieran Salmon really shone in their monologues, rife with sarcasm and the occasional rib at the audience while Martha Lockhead and Eleanor Cobb performed the one and only skit of the evening that was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.
The majority of the performers at this event were fairly new to the society and to stand-up comedy performance, making their successful debut all the more interesting. President Ned Sanders stated that he was “immensely proud of the newcomers to the society who in the space of single term have become very competent comedians”, singing the praises of everyone that performed at the Santa Isn’t Real event as well as the other events the Comedy Society have organised earlier in the term.
All of the performers did extremely well in performing in front of the small crowd and enshrined the ethos of the comedy society in both appreciating and performing comedy well.