Review: Wolfson Howler
An atmospheric night of comedy with no weak links
“Only at Wolfson Howler can you ask if there’s a beat boxer in the room and some beat boxing bearded man just emerges from the back”
So commented our compere for the evening, Ed Gamble, and never was there a more veracious acknowledgement. Throughout the evening Gamble impressed with his ability to merge between introductions, prepared pieces and incisive banter with unsuspecting members of the audience as effortlessly as a seal in the water. I particularly enjoyed his ‘strip down economics’ theory.
The grotty, school disco vibe of Wolfson bar certainly established a different tone to most Cambridge performance venues but I actually rather liked this. The Howler has seemingly become a regular for many Wolfson postgrads who arrive and make good use of the show-cum-bar. And hey, why on earth not. Everyone was in suitable spirits to appreciate the fantastic acts.
Cat Stirling held the audience from the get-go and her reenactment of the clubbing scene complete with awkward Computer-Science-postgrad bopping (and a bearded beat boxer) was a treat to behold. Conor Mulheir’s unapologetic cynicism had me laughing (too loudly for it to be ok) throughout his set and the multi-talented Rozzie Peters’ songs were both witty and beautifully performed.
My favourite act of the night had to be Hisham Ziaudeen. The initial warning of his surreal sense of humour, following mentions of “an elderly relative rustling in the wind”, to get away from the utter vacuousness of his life turned out to be needless as his bicycle anecdote was very successful in all its ‘life is so vacuous’ glory.
Our headliner, John Gordillo, had the audience in stitches a good few times, but the length of his set meant there were a few flat moments. He also revealed he’d only just arrived, which explained his mentioning of a few things that had already been picked up on earlier in the night.
Gordillo spent a healthy part of his set discussing star rating systems which was a huge plus for me. Though he mainly talked about how terrible and arbitrary they are, he was saying this in relation to TripAdvisor and the fact we are now being asked to give ratings to natural phenomena such as the Grand Canyon. He seemed totally down with the construction of the star rating system to rate things “created by humans”, so, on that note, I give Wolfson Howler 4 Stars.
A wonderful evening, despite the long walk home.