Review: Wolfson Howler

Some comedy revelations and the Rubenesque Ed Gamble perfectly complimented Alun Cochrane’s snort inducing set for SOPHIE BAUER

Cochrane Comedy Gamble Howler Reams Wolfson

Wolfson Howler, 8th March, 8.00pm

I feel like I’ve truly arrived. I’m invincible to queues. I’m immune to probing. Surely I’m at the pinnacle of my writing career? Front row, free wine, no fuss- it was a difficult climb to get here. The Howler was fated to triumph once more with its impressive line up and now oh so familiar atmosphere. It’s week 8 so let’s cut to the chase: It’s no tantalising secret that I love the Howler, the fact that the compere leaves me weak at the knees is no scandal we seek to veil. The only thing that worried me was whether it would suffer the same apathy endured by the noble King’s Jest
Fear not! Although the ambience was a little flatter than usual, with Ed Gamble merrily bouncing smoothly back into the role of compere it quickly got its fizzle back. Armed and dangerous with his usual ease and quick as cat wit, Ed Gamble’s Rubenesque presence makes any Howler worth the trek. Right, I will stop the gushing…now.

The wonderfully bedraggled Liam Williams led the clan of chortle inducers into battle. I’m a big fan of this guy, though he does sometimes have a waft of yeasty marmite about him; his experiments and demeanour not always on the mark. Rest assured though, he was on great form for this term’s final Howler. Toting a notebook of potential plays, towns and secrets how could he not be?

Next up was the puzzling Charlie Reams. I can’t decide whether I think his style is original, downright dull or just really creepy… I’ll just go ahead, use my comedy intellect and assume that his socially awkward, walking anticlimax engrossed in “The Encyclopaedia of Animal Reproduction” is indeed a persona. Make up your own minds, I’m still trying.

Leo Davidson was the revelation of the night for me; this was to be my first shot of what I hope to be a longstanding recreational pass time. At the risk of upping my own mothering tendencies, his song on the ukulele advertising his chubby credentials was outstanding. Witty writing plus impeccable delivery created a set of comedy bliss. 

Ed Gamble then introduced his friend Jez Scharf into the arena. His talk on Geordies and the weird things lads say was pleasing banter, though his knock knock jokes a bit hit and miss…but again, I’ll use my intellect and say that it was kind of the point?

The evening flew by and before we knew it we were gazing in awe at the ‘marvellous Alun Cochrane’. And what a marvel he was too… he had us all doubled over with his talk of daydreaming and sub standard sex, his tales of seeing a man’s willy on a train and marriage left us with tears streaming down our faces. His musings on malt loaf stuck in the toaster led some amongst us to spit our drink out and proceed to choke on the remains in an ecstasy of giggles. In a nutshell, if you get a chance to see Mr Cochrane grab the opportunity, you won’t be disappointed.
And again, go to the Howler. It’s £5 for at least three hours of fun, pure escapism and the perfect tonic to your dull overanalyses and ponderings.