Star rating: ****
Upfront Comedy at Tricycle Theatre
Kilburn, London NW6
Sunday 6th March 2016
A mature and varied comedy line up took to the Tricycle stage to deliver a Mother’s Day show for the people of Kilburn. Did they kill it or crash and burn?
Compere and Upfront Comedy Promoter John Simmit was on smashing form warming up the audience with plenty of good jokes embellished with lovely use of music and dance interwoven into his routine. There was an enjoyable range of styles, styla’s even, on display including the youthful Aurie Styla and his tales of growing up in West London, using “facilities” he ought not to, negative media influences on young people and hilarious tales relating to a recent visit to Jamaica. I think all comedians need to visit Jamaica as they always seem to come back with great tales! Both Curtis Walker and Slim have cracking routines based on their recent visits.
It was good to see two women on the line up including Ninia Benjamin, star of the BBC’s 3 Non-Blondes back in the day. Relative newcomer to the scene Muriel Oduro was superb and brought an impish, more innocent vibe to the show with her stories of singledom and the high cost of living in London. Ninia Benjamin certainly put the upfront in the comedy. The audience were prepped by John Simmit that some might wish to go for an early interval. He wasn’t wrong. There was plenty to laugh at with some wonderfully funny and silly, topical observations on the EU referendum and Brexit, as well as good humoured, self-deprecating joshing about her weight. The size 12 gag was lovely. The lasting impression for me however was of someone being OTT with a selection of low slinging, smutty, sexual gags. If she was after shock factor she got that. If she desired the X factor she missed it by a mile. I realise that such humour can be part and parcel of comedy, but something about it just didn’t sit right. To be frank it’s just not very ladylike and I don’t think audiences want that from female comedians.
Headlining double act Jefferson and Whitfield are a good old fashioned stand up comedy duo who accentuated their cultural heritage through comedy. They were quite family friendly, yet also pushed the boundaries of good taste, but unlike Ninia, did it in a less abrasive way. It was interesting to hear that Jefferson & Whitfield and John Simmit both had their TV debuts on The Real McCoy. As with many multi-line up shows there was good, bad and so so elements, but in the main this was a good quality night of cultural comedy from 6 non-blondes.
© Tiemo Talk of the Town
Discussion topic: Are their subjects that male comedians can explore that women can’t? i.e. Do audiences permit male comedians to get away with certain material that they don’t accept from women?
- Tiemo Awards 2016 – Honouring the Best and Worst Shows of 2015 – 4th March 2016
- MC and Contestants Absolutely Smash it at 60 Seconds to Shine Final – Hosted by Muriel Oduro – 18th February 2016
- No Laughing Matter – Black Stand up Comedy – by Michael Peters – 23rd November 2015
- Why Has Black TV Failed to Progress Beyond The Real McCoy ? – 30th December 2013
- The Real McCoy 21st Anniversary Celebration – 7th May 2012