Comedy Collab puts funny back on the menu

The Tab’s anonymous reviewer is back to welcome in the year with some cracking comedy.

Durham Comedy Collaborative

4 Stars

As the lights went down in the Assembly Rooms Theatre, our evening was begun with an introduction from our compere, Jake Donaldson. Whilst he succeeded in the difficult task of relaxing the audience into the evening, his selection as compere was somewhat questionable, since his comedy had a distinctively different tone to the other acts.

We swiftly moved onto our first sketch act of the night, Just Deserts. Their scenes were, on the whole, entertaining; the comedic highlight a scene involving the two Mario brothers. All three delivered energetic performances, with particular praise due to Freddie Ridell and Henry Fell.

Next, Oscar Koronka was the evening’s first stand-up act. His confident, characterised style of comedy was enjoyable, revolving around topics such as feminism and lad culture. Though the set was slightly disjointed, this had no real effect on the audience’s amusement, and he’s a comedian I’m sure to look out for in future.

The wittily named Next Act were my personal favourite group of the evening. Their sketches were refreshingly original, the endings including some fantastic twists. Mike Bedigan stood out; his physicality and vocals were brilliantly stylised and sharp and the facial expressions of Will Throp were also superb, making Next Act my act of the evening.

Freddie Ridell then returned to the stage to deliver his own stand-up performance. As in Just Deserts, he was confident and witty, conveying a great deal of enthusiasm. Although I found his set a little short, perhaps this just demonstrates how enjoyable he is as a comedian!

Headline act Shellshock! (Credit: Venus Loi)

And so the evening ended with headline act: Shellshock. I was amazed how sharp and fast-paced this troupe was, despite being completely improvised. They were the perfect act to end on: their interaction with a less than full house was excellent, their humour quick-witted and their variety of styles engaging.

Durham’s comedy scene is, sadly, one that never seems to receive the attention that it deserves. Yet, despite the number of empty seats in the theatre,  the laughter remained raucous throughout. Therefore, I sincerely hope that this year sees bigger audiences flock to the comedy that Durham has to offer!