Raymond & Mr Timpkins Revue
Reginald D Hunter
Rev Obadiah Steppenwolf III
Roy Chubby Brown
Ruth E Cockburn
From Comedy Store: Raw And Uncut
2013 cinema release
More Roger Monkhouse videos
|From Comedy Store: Raw And Uncut|
|From Comedy Store: Raw And Uncut|
Rich Hall etc at Ealing Comedy Festival
It’s often asked why London doesn’t have a comedy festival. The truth is; it does. It has loads.
Just this week there are two giant marquees packed full of comedy at either end of the east-west axis: Greenwich at one extremity, Ealing at the other – not to mention the Priceless Wonderland for cabaret on the Southbank.
If only we had the weather for it. Ealing was so sodden last night that a whole section of seats had to be taken out for fear of the audience slowly descending into the quagmire.
But with a top-flight line-up, there was no chance of the comedians sinking without trace, if you’ll excuse such a contrived link. Phil Nichol, Milton Jones and Rich Hall are almost The Unreviewables – all so firmly established in what they do and able to deliver so consistently that the audience knows what to expect; and gets it.
Compere Roger Monkhouse is less well known that the acts he introduced, but no less experienced, being a long-term stalwart of the circuit. When he starts, you might be forgiven for not realise that, as he mutters along in relentless monotone about what’s going on as the tent continues to fill up.
Some chat with some audience members falters along, with questions about where they come from getting close to uncomfortable for the resolutely middle-class audience, who are unsure of discussions of ethnicity. Even from a comedian who uses the word ‘diaspora’ in his banter.
But Monkhouse uses that tension to his advantage, and playfully builds up a real head of steam as he draws focus to the stage. On the face of it, he’s employing such tried-and-tested techniques: exploiting the north-south divide, teasing the Scots and affectionately mocking the audience for being no spring chickens. It’s all pantomime boos and cheers, but Monkhouse conducts it like an maestro, making it all seem fresh and spontaneous, even when weaving in some prepared material that strikes a similarly cheeky note.
His sterling work set up the room for Phil Nichol. At Latitude this past weekend we made reference to how his sets can become familiar – after all, he’s one of the most hard-working comics in the country when it comes to gigging, but not one of the circuit’s most prolific writers.
But that isn’t to diminished the fact that his set is devastatingly effective and Nichol a performance powerhouse that lights up the room with unpredictable excitement like a crateful of fireworks accidentally going off. Add to the fact that Only Gay Eskimo is probably the best closing song in the land, especially with the enthusiastic Canadian trying to mock-seduce some willing victim he’d had his eye on all night, and it’s 20 minutes of uncomplicated fun.
While Nichol is all manic likeability, Milton Jones is always going to be the weirdest man in the room. In fact when he tries a universal ‘eh, lads’ gambit to open a joke, it’s funny in itself given he’s so disconnected from that ordinariness.
Much of this set was new, or newish, but you still know exactly what you’re going to get with Jones – a spectrum of oddball one-liners running from the wincingly terrible to the beautifully sublime. And sometimes both at once.
His best gags are as perfectly engineered as a Swiss watch, and even those that do venture into ‘dad joke’ territory are delivered with such bewildered innocence, it’s impossible not to be charmed.
Headlining over Jones is tricky, but Rich Hall is more than up to the task, with his gruff ‘for Chrissakes, people’ demolition of all that defies common sense in this pretentious world.
As a transatlantic messenger, he can deliver us in the UK some home truths from an outsider’s perspective, while he’s no less harsh on his compatriots – thus exploiting two of a British person’s most favourite pastimes: whinging about all that’s wrong with this country and laughing at the dumb redneck Yanks.
There’s a political edge to what he does, trying to figure out the workings of a coalition government or mocking the religious right back home, guided by the voices of God in their head. And should anyone get swept up in the Olympic hoopla, Hall has another tale to bring you back down to earth.
He is a human reality check, with all his cynical – or realistic – opinions expressed with an efficiency that tells you he suffers no bullshit, and an incisive way of drawing allusions to make sure his point is clear and unarguable.
|Date of live review: Thursday 19th Jul, '12|
Review by Steve Bennett
Wednesday 1st Oct, '08-
Saw Roger MC at Manchester Comedy Store on 14th April. Very funny guy, and starred in what was a very good line up that night. Would pay to see him again anytime.
This guy is great. Intelligent and relaxed, he stormed the night I saw him and blew away the other three comedians on the lineup. What is particularly admirable is that he doesn't draw on far-fetched made up stories for his material - he deals with society, politics, people in the audience, or whatever else takes his fancy to delivery some fantastic gags. Fully recommend.
Brilliant act. Smart and super funny; loved it.
The previous two posters were obviously looking for a Jim Davison type perfomer. Saw Roger last night in Guernsey, was wonderful. A thinking mans' comic, intelligent, funny, inventive, highly entertaining. Would thoroughly recommend
I fucking agree. Terrible.
Saw Roger MC at the comedy store in Manchester - he put in a poor performance. as someone previously mentioned it was like he was having a conversation with the audience and his stuttering and non-jokes made it like one of those conversations with the losers in your class at school that you politely endure nodding away whilst he vainly attempts to get a laugh. Material was cliched, accused some balding men of being pedophiles and the possible plants in the front row of being homosexual there was no expansion upon these points. Terrible
Roger headlined at The Black Horse, Aylestone last night. Absolutely brilliant. Totally relaxed and made the audience feel like he was just having a chat with them, rather than delivering carefully crafted material. I feel sorry for other acts if he's compering.
A legend - in fact he's more than that. What would more than that sound like if it were a word? I don't actually know.. but I think he would and that's really my point.
Roger McGough's 40th Fringe Bash