Monday, May 20Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Celebrating The Comedy Society

RHUL Comedy Society performed yet another show on Friday December 1 to high praise from the audience, judging by their laughter. It was their third show of the term and was marginally centred around the theme of Christmas and the holiday season. The show was called ‘Celebrating the Birth of Christ’, with the Facebook event espousing that there is “no better way to kick off your advent calendar”, accompanied by a charming poster that has host Archie Brooks-Watson’s face on the body of a baby. We can only assume the baby is meant to be Baby Jesus, bringing this Christmas-themed show full circle.

The show itself consisted of 12 performers, including the host, of mixed age, degrees, gender and ethnicity, bringing different perspectives to their humour and to the whole evening.

Ewan Boissinot starts us off with some classic gallows humour and jokes about death that all millennials are familiar with. He also joked about Bubble Tea, a common favourite on our campus as Imagine sells it, stating that there is “nothing than can be improved by tapioca”. I greatly disagreed, as did many audience members, but it was funny nonetheless.

When some of his jokes garnered mild chuckles rather than raucous laughter, he took it in stride and merely remarked that it was perhaps “not the correct crowd” for his specific sense of humour. But, as with all comedians, it’s all about trial and error with each and every audience. I look forward to seeing his repertoire develop. Personally, I enjoyed his jokes, even as he said that “journalism is the worst form of literature”.

Watson, in his hosting duties, told a few jokes of his own, specifically targeting neo-Nazis and racism. As I have seen him perform at a Comedy Society event previously, I was familiar with his jokes but they were just as good a second time round.

In reference to our first comedian, Watson also mentioned that Ewan had attempted to use a previous Orbital review concerning him as a pick-up line. I can only hope that this article will also serve such a great purpose.

Heckles from the audience were all done in good fun, aiming to contribute to the festive and happy atmosphere rather than tear it down.

Nicole Chrenek gave off a suburban American mum vibe, which was fitting as her opening joke centred on that aspect of her personality. She was confident in her delivery, despite it being only her second performance and managed to insult the SU and the Beatles in one fell swoop. Immediately following was James Butler, whose purposeful fumble as he walked onto the stage was very in keeping with Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars, but his outfit wasn’t as sparkly. His audience interaction set him apart from the other performers, as he asked them questions and mocked a select few who were sitting front and centre, adding a different style to the evening.

Molly Jay and Jathursa Uthayakumar were both spectacular, making crude but incredibly funny jokes that had the whole audience roaring with laughter. Some of their material included mentions of sexual activity, explicit films, Harry Potter and incest, which sounds ridiculous I’m sure but it was absolutely hilarious in context.

Special mention must go to Jamie Stainer, who performed a beautiful love song to Runnymede chicken which we all related to. Andrei Viziteu wore a beret and was the perfect representation of a pretentious Philosophy student, as one audience member, who studies Philosophy, could attest to. Whether Viziteu actually studied Philosophy or not, I don’t know, but his outlook perfectly mirrored the existential angst with which he delivered his set.

Callum Pardoe looked like he had just stepped out of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as he was dressed head-to-toe in green skin-tight clothes and was completely unrelated to his classic ‘Your Mum’ jokes, which likely made the whole thing all the more funny. Well done to Vishank Gambhir and Rebecca Masker, both sets were funny and peppered with extremely relatable content concerning Kingswood Halls and religious iconography respectively.


The night ended with Comedy Society President, Philipp Carl Kostelecky, giving us interesting insight into the ongoing Rohingya Crisis, his favourite part of Christmas and Jesus’ mind in the form of notes delivered seemingly by divine providence to Kostelecky’s pockets (and his shoe). Speaking to him afterwards, he said that he thought the “show went very well” as there was a “good audience size” and that he was proud of members trying out “new material”. He praised each act, stating that there was “real talent” within the society and it was “good to showcase that”, hoping that they will be “back at it again next year”.

If you’re considering seeing one of Comedy Society’s shows next year, I would truly recommend it – it’s always great fun. Their events for the new year will be announced via their Facebook page, RHUL Comedy Society.