REANNE MACKENZIE’s jaw is aching after a top-notch night of comedy from Pierre Novellie.
ADC Theatre, 11pm, Friday 17th May, £6/5
I set out last night with one aim in mind: to laugh. Not the vacant, mad-old-lady laugh that six hours in the library tends to induce, but a real, jaw-aching, gasping- for-breath, tears-in-my-eyes laugh. Pierre Novellie did not disappoint.
I can’t adequately turn Pierre’s set into funny text, as it was as much about the delivery as the jokes themselves. But largely his comedy is observational, witty, and, like all good comedians, he has mastered the necessary self-deprecation that means he isn’t afraid to make himself the butt of his jokes – “I’m from South Africa, to which many people reply ‘are you black?’”
It was very relaxed and intimate. Pierre had messy hair, casual clothes, a bottle of diet coke and a microphone. What is quite incredible is that he spoke for an hour and had the audience hanging on his every word. What’s more, he made it look easy: the sign of an extremely accomplished talent.
I particularly like that, as he only graduated last year, much of his comedy is still centred on his Cambridge experience. One of my favourite bits was his discussion on his ASNAC (Anglo, Saxon, Norse and Celtic) degree… “Not too many internships on a longboat.” He also went on to talk about his reading of 12th century Welsh law and when it is acceptable for a man to finger another man’s wife. Answer? After a long journey.
Basically, all I can tell you is that Pierre is very, very funny and very, very talented. I really hope he makes it – his description of his weekly shop in those specific London newsagents that disguise themselves as groceries provided ripe material, but he deserves better. I’m glad I saw him while the tickets were still cheap.