Footlights Smoker

ELLIE OGILVIE and a singleton audience lift their hearts with a Footlights Smoker.

Adam Lawrence Charlie Palmer Charlotte Jeffreys Comedy Dom Biddle Edward Eustace Footlights footlights smoker G.G.T.H. harry michell Lowell Belfield Lucy Farrett Phil Wang Pierre Novellie Smoker Tom Ellis valentine's day

ADC Theatre, 14th February, 11pm, £6-7


A largely singleton audience with the finest comedians this side of the Fens: we all knew we could rely on Footlights to mock Valentine’s Day to the ground and raise hilarity to the roof. They certainly didn’t disappoint.

The pre-show atmosphere was particularly lively in the auditorium. The night was kicked off by Footlights gurus Wang and Novellie with a sketch from the immanent G.G.T.H.. The puns poured out during their Rambo baker skit at a perfect pace – a creation of brilliance. Other masterpieces from the maestros included a gathering of tribal elders and an invasion of personal space. Epic.

There was plenty of other talent on offer in tonight’s Smoker, with a number of well executed monologues and stand-up pieces. Tom Ellis’s speech featured the convincing con artist character we all love to hate being busted by the squirrel in his bag. This may sound dubious but trust me: it was terrifically engaging and fired up the audience. Charlotte Jeffreys showcased my favourite type of comedy with real gusto; a dry, sarcastic piss-take of the niche children’s board-game “Don’t Talk to Strangers”. Meanwhile, quietly understated, Charlie Palmer’s chatty and honest discussion of Oxbridge rejection raised the fabulously ludicrous idea of a ‘pick-your-own’ interview location. Admissions Tutors, take note.

A special mention must go to the wondrously well-coordinated Harry Michell who gave a genius performance involving speech and gesture mismatch. His actions were cleverly timed, out-of-synch and gloriously risqué at times. This was a dazzling party trick and a real show-stealer.

As could be expected, the numerous Valentine’s Day sketches were all light-hearted enough to keep the singleton community on side. Lucy Farrett played a convincingly naive girl bragging about her V-day dates and Lowell Belfield a cocky and wonderfully tacky life-coach who kept the audience in stitches. Then we had a couple on a date with hilariously attentive Maitre d’ (Edward Eustace) and whipped sidekick Pedro (Dom Biddle). Along the same theme was a blind date scene that picked out an awkwardness we can all relate to, apart from maybe the lesbian sock puppets.

And just when we thought it couldn’t be topped; cue Adam Lawrence in a scene from the upcoming Pilot comedy. Pacing around the stage, gestures at large, playing multiple roles at incredible speed, this was comedy gold. Even the rather large plug at the end was conducted in an uproariously tasteful way, leading the audience to rapturous applause. Without wanting to give anything away… Corpus Playroom next week.

This Smoker stood out for providing enough clever, crude, accurate and quite frankly ridiculous comedy to suit all desires. So next Valentine’s Day, sack-off your significant other: a session with the Footlights is all you need.