Review: The King’s Jest

****- A well made fruit salad of comedy with only the occasional irritating piece of banana.

Comedy Fruit Salad Jenna Corderoy King's College King's Jest

The King’s Jest, King’s College, 23rd October 2009.


The first attendance of a comedy performance in Cambridge is rather like the loss of one’s so carefully preserved chastity; with its the build up of great anticipation punctuated with gasps of enthusiasm, followed all too often by a deflated feeling of disappointment and interjections of  “Was it good for you?”. I’d like to state for the record that my comedic cherry was discarded under much more satisfactory circumstances, though all have endured their momentous evening with varying degrees of pleasure and longevity.

They say you never forget your first time, and how could I when it was at Kings College, a place which has not yet ceased to satisfy the over enthusiasm I as a Fresher suffer from. The evening was filled with what I imagine to be its usual menagerie of the pick of Cambridge’s comedy crop: Amongst these wannabe Izzards and Baileys you can find those quietly, yet confidently, itching to find the audience’s funny bone, working keenly alongside the more seasoned and self loving clan. Don’t get me wrong, the evening was one of supreme quality, each performer arriving guns loaded with their own distinctive style, transforming what would have been a dull, autumnal Friday night into an almost palpably enjoyable evening. To put it a little more poetically, it was a like a good fruit salad; the odd bit of slightly tired banana not detracting from the overall tastiness of this collection of stand up.

The material ranged from love drenched summers to the always unsavoury date rape, an amorous song injected with pretty much all the drugs you care to name…oh, and a heartfelt declaration of love for Rupert Grint. And all of that (weirdness, genius…whatever you care to call it) for just £2 of your student loan.

However, as with any collective gig, there will nine times out of ten be something special in the mix, forcing you look up instead of inwardly praying that if you keep your eyes down you won’t be singled out for the dreaded infusions of audience participation.  For me that special nugget came from Jenna Corderoy, one of the only two female performers. I felt that the ideas and themes within her performance were incredibly original, and she became an individual standalone from what could have easily turned into a sea of testosterone.  Testosterone is great, some of my best friends have testosterone, but as a woman it’s always a bonus to see another female stand out for her comedic value rather than just crash and burn into what we know to be a largely male dominated playground.

This evening set the bar high for future performances, so let’s hope it wasn’t just a fantastic one night only deal, but a long lasting and continually developing event. Go forth to Kings and be amused.