Expectations were high for the five-act Late Night Comedy Lock-In show of December 5th— no less than three student comedy groups, a famous alumnus as host as well as a local professional comedian as headliner— and it did not disappoint.
The concert-like atmosphere that I had previously encountered at the Revue’s ‘Unfinished Business’ was perfect for the show’s host. Indeed, Durham alumnus and award-winning comedian Bróccán Tyzack-Carlin was energetic, dynamic, loud and he immediately engaged the audience. The show started a little after 9:30 pm, which is very late for a cold Sunday night when everyone is in bed by 9, but I assure you that by the end, the audience was wide awake and begging for more. Apart from introducing the performances, Bróccán Tyzack-Carlin read a few poems with a ‘sexy poetry music’ playing in the background and— believe it or not— talked a little about Marx… and the Spice girls.
The first student group to perform was The Revue and they couldn’t have chosen a better sketch to start with than the brilliant ‘Witches from Macbeth Arguing’— perhaps the best sketch of the show, simple but effective. Bob Howat was hilarious and the whole group was very funny. However, the performances were quite uneven and some of them mostly relied on the performers’ talent— which is undeniable— making most sketches, although fun, forgettable. Some, nevertheless, were definitely memorable : the ‘Raining Men’ sketch— starring Daisy Hargreaves as mother nature— was creative and hilarious.
The Stand Society were incredibly talented : their line-up was eclectic and yet they were all equally hysterical. They seemed like professional comics both in terms of quality of their jokes, and execution. James Murray, the opener, made scandalous jokes and told us about his hybrid identity, half Harry Potter, half gay robot. He was endearing, humble, and in perfect control of the audience. Amir Davies followed with an effortlessly funny persona : he came in wearing sweatpants, spoke with a very monotonous voice, pointed out how he ‘‘couldn’t be bothered’’, and literally everything he said made the audience laugh. Sascha Lo was the last stand-up performer and she brilliantly impersonated the private school ‘pick-me’ girl who did a gap year. Her caricature was very well done and convincing, and it had a bit of the outrageous element present in James Murray’s— she proceeded to tell us that her first crush was her dad, but it’s okay because ‘‘he’s hot though’’. The Stand Society might have been the best section out of three student groups, which is a pleasant surprise considering how dynamic the sketches were.
The Buttered Toast performed a few sketches but they didn’t stand out as much as the Revue, although their opener, the bank robbery, was entertaining. The last sketch was the funniest, with a character bragging to a friend that their boyfriend is an actor because he was ‘‘caught on CCTV’’. The actors are very talented and their acting was definitely the highlight of their section.
Professional comedian Lauren Pattison, headliner, finished the show with a stand-up performance that couldn’t have been funnier, more brilliant and better written— she was the perfect end to a perfect night.