Mek Mi Laugh and Comedy Untapped 5th May 2013

Mek Mi Laugh and Comedy Untapped – Bank Holiday Stand Up Comedy Special
**** 4/5

Harrow Arts Centre
Hatch End
Middlesex HA5

Sunday 5th May 2013

The early May Bank Holiday witnessed the latest offering from ‘Mek Mi Laugh’ and ‘Comedy Untapped’ as they presented ‘Rudi Lickwood and his Comedy Chums’ at Harrow Arts Centre. In a pretty raw X rated show, on stage performing were Annette Fagon, Will E Robo, Dana Alexander, Richard Blackwood and Rudi Lickwood.

Annette Fagon

The show opened with a hilarious set from Leicester based Annette Fagon. She had the audience in hysterics with her tales of being single and inter-racial dating, late night “booty” calls and self-mocking jokes about her weight. It was very, very X rated, but also quite educational. Annette Fagon should immediately be placed on the ‘Sex Education Register’ for her performance! Very funny, ebut naughty woman. With the focus largely on gender related subjects, unsurprisingly Annette connected well especially with the women in the audience and the different nationalities present with her inclusive, funny routines.

Will E Robo

There was a good routine from American Will E Robo who insisted on getting a really lively welcome before he got going. Very brave call at a London gig, where audiences can be a lot more reserved than in the provinces, but it paid off. I recall him being here 2-3 years ago and not getting to complete his set due to the late running of the show. Being on second this time there was no danger of that tonight. His set seemed largely to focus on sex, cultural and language differences between Americans and Brits and judging by the laughter reverberating around the Elliot Hall of Harrow Arts Centre, it was clearly very well received.

Richard Blackwood

Richard Blackwood

The Black Comedy Award 2012 Winner – ‘Best Comedian Acting’, Richard Blackwood, was on in place of the advertised Curtis Walker, who was engaged elsewhere due to a double booking. No mention was made of this that I was aware of, though there was no shock reaction from the audience so maybe they were aware. Either way, Richard’s no bad substitute for the ‘Don’ of comedy. It was great to see Richard back on stage doing Stand Up as opposed to acting the ass, if you pardon the expression, quite literally in ‘Shrek’ which he’d been doing for the past two years. That earned him his award at Tiemo’s 2012 Black Comedy Awards.

If people were in any doubt he could still cut it on the stand up stage, those doubts were swiftly swatted aside as Richard quickly got back into his comedic stride in a high energy performance that covered dating, clubbing, cultural differences between Black and White men, how each dealt with their anger and potential threats to. I loved his account of the ‘Super nanny’ episode which he used to highlight the difference between effective i.e. strict versus ineffective i.e. weak, parenting. Very funny.

With Richard, it’s not so much the punch line, which you can sometimes see a mile off, as opposed to his story telling which works best, as he prefers to take the audience on the funny, scenic route to the punch line, rather than the quickest route, Jimmy Carr style for instance. It is this engaging, visual and vividly descriptive manner he uses to bring his jokes to life that has made Richard one of the Black comedy circuit’s most enduring, consistent and well loved Comedians for over 20 years.  In a recent interview, 28th April 2013 for Aspire, reviewed by Tiemo, Richard talks about his influences in comedy and the highs and lows of 20 years in show business.

Dana Alexander

dana alexander

Hailing from Toronto, Canada, the final act of the night was Dana Alexander. Based in London now, she did some neat jokes about the impact of the 2011 riots on her figure and her annoyance at the almost daily occurrence of being mistaken for an American and life as an “above average” size woman. A few jokes went above the audience’s head, but her jokes generally hit the spot.

As with Annette, she too covered jokes about being single in the city, which seems to be something of a recurring theme with our female Comediennes, whether they are British, American or Canadian these days. Three of the four Comedienne’s at the recent ‘Funny-n-Stiletto’s’ tour also gave quite a focus to their single status.

Rudi Lickwood

rudi lickwood1

Host Rudi Lickwood kept proceedings ticking over wonderfully as usual with his wide repertoire of jokes and audience banter. Some of it was very crude and un-family friendly, but the audience were generally fine with that. That seemed to be a bit of a theme for the night from most of the comedians and at times some would argue they pushed this too far and the resultant audience reaction was more muted.

Highlights included the audience participation via the games and jokes submitted by those in attendance. I think though it was good fun, the technology at times let Rudi down resulting in delays and him calling on his assistant a few times to help out, which at times spoilt the flow of the night. A video screen would have been a good addition so that everyone could see the on stage action. Great concept though and the jokes gets the audience more involved in the entertainment.

The impromptu dance off with a female audience member was good fun. Rudi got down very well and lithely. Well done as well to the woman who confidently strutted her stuff.

All in all this was a terrific night’s entertainment from the ‘Mek Mi Laugh’ and ‘Comedy Untapped’ team. I look forward to the next ‘Mek Mi Laugh’ show at Harrow Arts Centre on Sunday 7th July 2013 with Felicity Ethnic the ‘Best Female Comedienne’ as voted for by the public at The 2012 Black Comedy Awards, as well as Quincy, Adam Ethan Crow, Dane Baptiste and host Rudi Lickwood.

©Tiemo Talk of the Town
15th May 2013

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