Corpus Smoker

Mon 14th May 2012


Jenni Reid

at 09:53 on 15th May 2012



The current standard introduction to reviews – the one about taking a well earned break from revision in the hopes of being cheered by some rip-roaring comedy or gripping drama – is wearing a little thin by this point in the term. However the dread of impending exams was pretty clear given the turn-out to the last Corpus Smoker of the year, which filled only around a quarter of the Playrooms. Nevertheless, the performers did not let this dampen their spirits, and ensured that despite the lack of potential laughs achievable in the room, their jokes did not fall flat. This evening of stand-up (with one sketch thrown in for good measure) did not leave the audience clutching stomachs sore from laughing, but was still considerably good fun.

Pierre Novellie was the usual confident and likeable compère, also managing not to outshine the all-male set list. A musical (of sorts) turn got the evening off to an energetic and comical start, helped greatly by interaction with some fortuitously very funny audience members – think an improvised song which includes the fun fact: ‘I have secret Viking heritage’. From there the night got neither considerably better nor worse, with especially hearty laughs earned by an elaborate alternative Derren Brown scenario, and a good deal of disgust elicited by one performer’s description of vacuuming his hair for dandruff. An act revolving around how posh the comedian’s accent was seemed almost out of place in a setting where most of the audience probably associates with people much more posh than him on a regular basis, and was not particularly original; call this personal taste, however, as everyone else seemed to enjoy it.

The evening was closed by a polished and very funny sketch by Edward Rowett and a stand-in for his comedy partner Robert Frimston, which promised good things of their sketch show which comes to the ADC next week. Whilst not a raucous night of entertainment, this Smoker did indeed provide just enough light-hearted humour to beat the revision blues, and especially considering the weak attendance showed off the considerable comedic talent of all involved.


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