Guest reviewer Martin Hughes took some time to tell us about his Brighton Fringe experience at the Komedia. Read how thrilled he was to introduce his daughter to one of his all-time loves: stand-up comedy.
As a long-time devotee of stand-up comedy, but lacking the joke-telling skills of the comedians I revere, the opportunity arose to take my fun-loving 6 year old daughter to a ‘Comedy club 4 kids’ show, last Saturday afternoon at the Komedia, Brighton.
We took the train down and made an afternoon of it! After eating lunch (while people-watching), we chased some pigeons, then took our seats downstairs at one of my favourite live venues in the South. Well, I took a seat and Katie being Katie, began socialising with other kids on the mat provided by the front of the stage.
There were three acts in total (some who were appearing later on that evening for the grown-ups!). The first was a likable guy called Ben who was terrific at handling tricky/annoying questions from the few over-zealous children in the room. He explained that they are all professional comedians who will try not to use rude words like ‘poo, bum, willies etc’ – this immediately got him onside with his young audience. He interacted with the kids, twisting the stories around, so for instance, a girl with a plaster cast on her arm became a slightly-lighter-than-lightweight boxing champion who punches little boys that dare to heckle comedians! Nice one!
The second act were an Irish male trio who played out three-minute sketches – like a man trying to impress a friend with his sandcastle that was the size of a real house – and it transpired that the boy helping him build the massive sand house turned out to be a sand creation himself! This took a dark turn very quickly, especially when the tide came in! It was hit and miss but it didn’t seem to dampen the kids spirits.
Stuart (Goldsmith) was the third and final act. He was definitely the stand-out, stand-up (!) comic with fast-paced anecdotes of his own childhood and stories of his godson who once sold him an idea for £1, the idea being you could sell your ideas to other people for money! He differed from the first comedian in that he didn’t encourage audience participation – which worked well for him as nothing interrupted his well-observed flights of fancy. My only criticism came in the last quarter of his set when his jokes were more geared towards the parents in the room. The kids didn’t quite grasp why their mums and dads were in hysterics but in a way, it’s only fair as we constituted a good 35% of the audience!
Other points of interest – tickets were relatively inexpensive (£8.50/£6.50), the bar was open and the sets weren’t overly long with the kids attention spans being taken into consideration.
My daughter’s verdict: “10 out of 10 – when’s the next one, daddy?”
My verdict: Got to spend time with my daughter and have a laugh – what could be better!
The next ‘Comedy club 4 kids‘ event at this venue is 10th October – see you there?!