Review: Jesterlarf

DAVARA BENNETT enjoyed the evening’s variation in a venue she had underestimated.

Jesterlarf John Robbins Liam Williams Michael Fabbri The Junction

Friday 5th March, 8.30 at The Junction, £12.

I thought that the Junction was where the cool Cantabridgians came to die and have indie-sex. I guess they’re not so interested in laughing, or maybe they just object to the way the name of the gig is spelt. ‘Jesterlarf’ is on the first Friday of each month, always a different line-up. 

This time, John Robbins began the night with the required audience interaction: a vulnerable table of philosophers amidst the swathe of townspeople was quickly singled out. The lecturers, despite some brave heckling, were cast as sinister and exploitative, the undergraduates naïve, pretty young things. Their next supervision should be fun.

Second act Michael Fabbri livened up the pace. His piece on internet threads – the ignorance, the wildly aggressive denunciation of ignorance, and general pandemonium – was perfectly structured and had the whole room in conniptions. I laughed along: no one comments on the review section anyway. Fabbri unearthed some gems – “And so Jesus was born, wearing the Virgin Mary’s hymen like a shower cap”, but his humour tends to quickly fall off the edge of funny. I remained stony-faced through a sketch on choosing a wife from a rescue shelter, impervious to the cackles around me. It was tastelessly done.

A familiar footlights face sprang up in the form of Liam Williams. He wasn’t the most standout act, but he had some decent material on working class Cambridge lads versus the upper class student equivalent, manoeuvring tactfully by mocking both equally.

Liam Malone followed: he was truly excellent. My heart goes out to his obese nephew – he can rest assured that, though ruthlessly mocked by his uncle and roomfuls of strangers, he has been cast in comedy gold. 

After the second interval cam Brian Higgins – by this time the audience, having thrice visited the bar, was pretty content with the rise in, ah, earthiness. I found it mildly disappointing: the rude ginger wonder pretty much relied on being rude and ginger. The great lapse in originality momentarily lifts in an out-of-control misogynistic rant, linking the source of women’s longevity to fellatio and the sucking out of soul. An almost Shakespearian moment, that.

The next Jesterlarf Comedy Night is Friday 2nd of April.