REVIEW: Monday Night Comedy – The Pavilion, Belfast
With Belfast Comedy Festival in full swing the weekly comedy night at the Pavilion brings a stellar line-up of stand-up comedians to banish those Monday blues.
MC for the night, Luke McGibbon, takes to stage in crutches causing the first subject of the night to be focused his injury. Conjuring up little sympathy from the early gig goers McGibbon informs us that he really doesn’t need the crutches anymore but instead he just had some material concerning the injury. This succeeds in getting some initial laughs and the crowd interaction going. After the members of the audience who bravely chose to sit at the front are inevitably picked on a little, the first act George Firehorse takes to the stage in believe it or not a superman onesie. Perhaps this can be construed as a bit of a gimmick, however the ensemble does pave the way from some spectacular superman puns that are thoroughly enjoyable. His set continues to follow the surreal tone that has been established with lots of props, magic tricks and animated gags. Without giving too much away (you really should see it yourself) one unfortunate audience member is pulled onto stage to partake in the set, much to the enjoyment of the rest of the onlookers.
Next up is some female fronted comedy in the form off Sara Jade Davidson. The audience (that has greatly increased in size) easily relate to her varied set which covers everyday topics such as bad house-keeping and the trails and troubles of using self-service tills as she manages to successfully come up with an entertaining range of alternatives to the normally mundane processes. Doing an excellent job of keeping the night flowing between acts McGibbon wastes little time in introducing Adam Laughlin, who exudes confidence from the offset and immediately distributes amusing observations about the likes of Hollyoaks and Fresher’s Week. Informing us that he used to be a DJ, Laughlin delivers an ingenuously crafted ‘bit’ that pokes fun at Jamaican musician Sean Paul which ensures plenty of laughs.
McGibbon next introduces a Special Guest in the form of none other than American comedian Rich Hall. The crowd is in hysterics as Hall delivers his set with his typical dry sense of humour. His unique take on the ‘microwave meal’ has most members of the audience doubling over with laughter. Picking up his guitar Hall treats us to a song about current presidential candidate Donald Trump along with a tune to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the film Brokeback Mountain that is entitled the ‘Cowboy Break-Up Song’.
After an exceedingly entertaining 20 minute set McGibbon announces that its time for an interval and that he (quite rightly) feels sorry for whoever has to follow Hall. That task goes to Katie Pritchard who brings her musical stylings to a now packed Pavilion. Armed with her miniature ukulele Pritchard proceeds to gives a uniquely thought out history lesson about Henry VIII and his wives that is nothing short of brilliant. Continuing with the musical theme Pritchard next delights the crowd with a tune about her non-sound proofed house, you can figure out the route that one takes for yourselves.
Something completely different comes in the form Belfast local Kieran Mena, who is content in beginning his set with poking fun at himself and the ‘leafy suburb’ of North Belfast he lives in. Again providing relatable topics such as quitting smoking his brief set goes down well. With the final part of his time on stage focused on puns involving David Cameron (a central topic for most of the comedians tonight) Mena successfully paves the way for headliner Conor McGinley. Providing the most varied set, the normal MC for the night makes light work of keeping the laughter going until the very end of the night. Contrasting his love of rap music to his hatred of the music from Disney’s Frozen, McGinley wins the respect of most parents in the crowd who also have had to endure multiple plays of the Soundtrack. Finishing things off by discussing his preference for funerals over weddings, McGinley leaves the stage gaining much appreciation from the audience.
Special Guest aside, for just £4 in, there’s not much more you could ask for from a local Comedy Night. With lots off variety and friendly faces it’s definitely an ideal way to spend a Monday evening. Pamela Anderson, GiggingNI.com