The room is full, the guest list all ticked off, it’s time to start.
Tonight is the first night we will be having 4 pro comics and I will be moving back to MC. MC still scares me massively as the it’s my job to get the ball rolling.
I’d been writing a new piece of material this month revolving around the Notting Hill Carnival. Armed with my Notting Hill Carnival T-shirt and diary (a prop not my actual diary, that would be weird) I was about to try it out. As I have spent almost every day sculpting this set and have performed it more than any others, I thought in all probability it would go well.
Sadly it did not… but luckily the other acts were great.
Nick Dixon was first up to open the night. He did his stuff, but the audience didn’t seem to be 100% up for comedy. The front row had a few arm-folded guys who seemed determined not to laugh… ever. But Nick rose to the task and managed to get the room laughing and we were off. I feel partly to blame here as the warming-up was my job, so perhaps I should have paid Nick double.
Pierre Hollins was up next, and he hit them with an opener that had the whole room laughing. He normally closes a night so I wasn’t surprised how he had the whole room in his hands in seconds. He’s also a super nice guy off stage as well, I will definitely be re-booking him for a headliner spot in 2015.
Next up was John Hastings, a Canadian, but as he was coming from another gig he was still not here! He was going on in about 4 mins and after my confidence-stripping opening I was very much praying that John would walk through those doors any second…
The door opens… is it John? Am I saved?
No, in walks Ben Norris the headliner! Shit now I’m in a pickle as I might have to put Ben on now and John on last if he doesn’t get here in 11 seconds.
Luckily a few moments later in walks John, just in the nick of time… he’s on stage and bang, he’s smashing them out of the ball park.
I loved his crazy stories and his energy on stage. He looked so natural up there, you don’t need quick one liners, you just need to engage with the audience and get their full attention, then once they think it’s going one way, send the story in a completely different direction and bang that’s 55 people laughing in the bag.
Finally Ben Norris took to the stage. He walks on with the worlds biggest grim. I walk off eager to a beer and enjoy the final act. Ben explained his life situation and struggles with triplets! and the frustration with those red cards the post office pop through your letter box instead of ringing the door bell with the actual parcel you wanted them to deliver.
The night was a really success, and even though the crowd were not playing ball, I think deep down we warmed their little heavily guarded hearts.