Star rating: *****
Friday 22nd May 2015
221 Uxbridge Road
London W7 3TD
Steve Allen, Comedian and voice of radio opened the show in fine style, using his radio voice to great comedic effect. Not to be confused with LBC’s Steve Allen – the amazing Mr Motormouth who can talk for hours with no guests or callers!
He came across a very amiable, confident man with plenty of very strong punch lines to his jokes. His stage persona reminded me a little of Dara O’Briain.
There were fine gags re his home town of Mansfield , Nottingham and his current town of Stevenage. I especially enjoyed the jokes around being single v being in a relationship and those re him being a father (allegedly).
At one point he made an assumption, as if it was un-contestable fact, that people who go to comedy shows are supportive of same sex marriages. That was of some relevance on this day as the Irish were voting in a referendum on same sex marriage. As it turns out the next day the result came out strongly in favour of gay marriage (62% yes). However unless based on any facts I don’t think Steve can make that assumption. I noticed some in the audience defiantly not agreeing with that statement and judging by the number of “traditional male-female” couples in the room, running with that assumption didn’t match the reality.
Local guy, Andy Hill, of Pitshanger, Ealing, did a wonderful short set. He joked re being a bit of a Stephen Merchant look a like. He is! I liked his set revolving around his middle class life and absence of cutting edge material he might have had if he were a Black man who had tales of racism or islamaphobia to find the humour in and I guess win over the sympathy of an audience. He may not have that, but he more than made up for it with some good original material re being middle class. Reminscent of the likes of Hal Cruttenden and Jack Whitehall who play on their poshness to get laughs, this worked very well for Andy.
This was a solid, funny performance from this newcomer which was all the more impressive for it being just his 13th ever live performance.
Gabriel opened by confirming the host Jame’s introduction that he had an awful two hour journey from Peckham to Hanwell to do this show. Fortunately that did not appear to have any negative impact on his set. He came across as friendly, funny and confident, with good jokes regarding Amsterdam, smoking and not being a stereotypical Black man. Sporting a ‘Dead Kennedy’s t-shirt was certainly a clear sign he wasn’t a stereotype. Some things were though re smoking and bringing up racism.
I found him to be quite edgy and likeable, but I felt the racism material was un-necessary and just too stereo-typical, which contradicted the point he seemed to make re not being a stereo-type. He would have made more of a statement by not bringing that subject up. There are other things in the world to joke about. None of the others on the line up went on about being white men, so why make your ethnicity an issue? Time to move on.
Bob Mills, 58, had the audience in stitches with his tour de force set, poking fun at his, in his own words, beach whale size, relationships material – there was a touching moment when he delivered some sound relationship advice, then shocked everyone by pausing just long enough to deliver a killer punchline.
There were lots of quality, surprise punchlines peppered throughout his performance. The confidence and quality of a comedy veteran of 30 years experience was there for all to see in his superb set.
A minor quibble. For all that though there was something slightly incongruous about his set which did not align with what may be his, I assume, religious beliefs. I noticed Bob did the sign of the cross just before taking to the stage – symbolising that even experienced comedians require a little help from the man upstairs (and I don’t mean the Landlord of the Viaduct Hanwell!) before taking to the stage. He then proceeded to liberally f and blind his way through the next 20 or so minutes on stage. He might have made God laugh but I don’t think he would have been so keen on the swearing.
Headliner for the night Paul Tonkinson went down very well with the audience. There was plenty of relationships, battle of the sexes material to get the room going. Judging by the laughter and knowing looks he was getting from the audience, his relationship observational skills were pretty spot on and elicited much laughter in the Viaduct Hanwell.
Paul has a very prestigious tour coming up later in the year and will be playing to considerably more people than at this show tonight, for he is supporting Michael McIntyre on his forthcoming new UK tour.
The final show of the season is on Friday 29th May 2015.
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- Bearcat Comedy Viaduct Hanwell review featuring Roger Monkhouse – 24th April 2015
- Bearcat Comedy Viaduct Hanwell show review starring Bobby Davro – 6th February 2015
- Bob Mills at Headliners Chiswick with Eddie Kadi – review – 17th March 2012