#The Laugh Society
Star rating: ****
Harrow Arts Centre
Uxbridge Road, Hatch End, Middlesex HA5
Saturday 1st October 2016
After a long 7 month break since their last show in March 2016 #The Laugh Society was back with the funnies in Harrow. Host Marlon Davis was innovative and creative in his hosting duties. His laid back style belies a quick thinking mind and sharp wit and he uses that to great comedic effect e.g. joking with a punter called Jerry re the assumption he probably had jerry curls back in the day! Being from North West London enabled him to confidently banter with the audience regarding the various locations most hailed from, which went down well in a local show such as this. His style might be low energy but it’s high in impact.
With Harrow Arts Centre being just half-full though a boost of higher energy from the host would have been in order to warm up the room even quicker and get the audience fully engaged in the show. Considering the very strong line up this show had it was disappointing to not see the place a lot more packed.
Njambi McGrath had a lot of good material which was well received. Too much of it though was quite old though – at least by 3 years. I get that she’s from Africa and that’s her USP, but does there not come a time when you have to move on and just deliver new or updated material? Her dry, somewhat deadpan delivery style could do with some work on if she wants to go a lot further in the comedy world as, whether deliberate or natural, she comes across on stage as quite cold.
A nice interlude from the comedy was provided by singer Carmy Love. Not sure why she was added to the bill – but with it being her birthday and her brother being host Marlon Davis that might have helped! Nevertheless, she fully deserved her spot and was superb. It was a real bonus to hear such a fabulous soulful voice. A personal bonus for her must have been her big brother Marlon bringing out a birthday cake and serenading her, or should I say trying to, with the Stevie Wonder ‘Happy Birthday’ song.
It was an unusual sight to see that, moreso when Marlon later revealed the reason for the postponement of the May and July shows. Unfortunately he’d been involved in a motorway crash in which his car veered off the road and straight into a tree. Sadly and not suprisingly he came off a lot worse than the tree. He ended up in a coma in hospital for two months. You wouldn’t know to look at him and it was great to see him back on stage again.
P.S. For anyone interested, I’m happy to report the tree’s doing fine. Just a couple of scratches. Marlon will be relieved to hear Theresa the tree won’t be pressing charges!
Athena Kugblenu delivered a fine performance. There was some original material re her mixed racial origins – Ghanaian and Indian heritage. I loved the fact she also revealed having a twin brother. Another addition to the weird list of comedians who were born as one half of a mixed-twin sibling’s double act! This includes Dane Baptiste and Stephen K Amos …. No they’re not twins. Keep up! They both have twin sisters.
Curtis Walker and Slim were on terrific form and had the audience heartily laughing away. Whilst some of Slim’s material covered old ground it was delivered in a refreshing way that kept you hugely entertained. Curtis had a fair bit of new material and bantered wonderfully with DJ Skillit and members of the audience.
Curtis had a great line in a routine complaining about the same old faces appearing on all the TV comedy panel shows. This takes us back to the hall being half-full. There was much I’d heard before and perhaps comedy fans want to go to shows knowing they will hear new material and that’s not always the case with certain shows and comedians. Secondly, many of the stars appearing on all the panel shows tour solo shows regularly. The same applies to ‘Live at the Apollo’. If that’s a direction Curtis and others wish to go in, maybe that’s something they need to consider.
© Tiemo Talk of the Town
The Laugh Society returns to Harrow Arts Society on Saturday 3rd December with Kane Brown and Marlon Davis.
The hit movie Selma is on at the same venue on 20th October 2016.
*** SUPPORT A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR HAC ***
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Harrow Council have agreed that an independent not-for-profit charity, Cultural London, will run the Arts Centre from April 2016. The new charity can only do this by replacing £500k subsidy with revenue from new facilities.
What We’ll Do
- Build an independent cinema which will provide the income to sustain HAC.
- Build a new theatre of 600 seats with a properly equipped stage.
- Restore the Elliott Hall to re-connect people with its heritage and improve it as a performance space.
- A gallery space would remain to support both professional and community exhibitions.
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We need your help, now, to build these facilities. To keep HAC alive. To create a vibrant cultural scene for you, your family, your friends. A donation no matter how small or large – could go a long way to achieving this. If you love the arts in Harrow, please help. The time is now!
- Comedy Crossing The Line with Toju and White Yardie – The Laugh Society – review – 17 March 2016
- Tiemo Awards 2016 – Round up of the best and worst shows of 2015 featuring Marlon Davis, Toju and many other performers across the cultural arts – 4th March 2016
- MC and Contestants Absoluntely Smash it at 60 Seconds T0 Shine Final – Organised by Rudi Lickwood – 12th February 2016
- No Laughing Matter for Black Stand up Comedy – by Michael Peters 23rd November 2015