TOMÁS SABAT kicks off his freshers week with a cracking night of comedy featuring household name Russell Howard.
Wolfson College, 8pm, Monday 7th October, £5
Last night Russell Howard came to Cambridge for the Wolfson Howler armed with new material. He admitted that, since his dog can’t provide him with proper feedback, and the old men at his local pub just don’t ‘get it’, he has to travel around to test the water. He delivered an unstructured performance that was so energetic his shirt needed wringing on stage.
With a queue forming from 6pm, only half of the 300 people would make it into the college bar. It seemed that word about the ‘SUPER SECRET Headline act from Telly land’ (as advertised on Facebook) was out.
The compère of the night was Ed Gamble, who seemed to have a personal vendetta against those seated in the front row. Ed’s typical audience banter progressed from favourite books to sexual propositions. Funny, yes, but after the second break, he could have branched out by victimizing other members of the audience. The four acts preceding the headline act were not quite as amusing. They all tried but failed to really connect with the crowd – although Ken Cheng was able to procure a fair few laughs.
Next up was Russell Howard. Normally, when watching a well-known comedian perform on tour, you know the joke has been said a million times before and is part of a well-rehearsed routine. However, this couldn’t be said about Russell’s performance at Wolfson College. Haphazard, unstructured and without any form of restraint, he tried out new material that made my face ache from laughing.
‘I don’t really think you fathom how difficult it is to be a man. Every man in this room when he wakes up, everybody, will have a raging boner’, Russell enlightened the women in the room. The pose and look on his face when he then displayed how to urinate in that state was truly hilarious. Russell also vented his dissatisfaction with several public figures, notably the Queen, describing her as a ‘boring old lady.’ He imitated the emotionless look on her face during the opening ceremony of London 2012 and explained how he had used her face on a ten pound note to clean up after his dog.
I feel that what set Russell’s performance apart was the fact that his act was so unstructured and disorganised. At one point, he even had to pull out a piece of paper with notes out of his pocket to remember what he was going to say. All this made him come across as a regular bloke, and made the night one to remember.
The Wolfson Howler did well to attract such a famous face. The night was definitely a success, and was a great way to kick off a new term of Cambridge comedy.