DISCLAIMER: The following review is by an (aspiring) comedian, and thus all opinions expressed are extremely jaded.
It promised funny business, and it delivered.
The Freshers’ Comedy Night was the first outing of the spanking new Comedy Society, and was aimed at offering an accessible, fast track introduction to the comedy scene in the Bubble. With fairly inexpensive tickets (£3 for non-members; £2 for members) and three snappy 20-minute sets by improv group Blind Mirth, Sandy’s Sundown Stand Up, and sketch troupe The St Andrews Revue, the night did just what it said on the tin.
Blind Mirth kicked off the evening’s proceedings with their characteristic energy. A healthy crowd had gathered in Sandy’s Bar, and the improv troupe quickly went to work warming them up. Mirth then went through some of the classic games that have become mainstays in their free weekly show, student therapy for the Monday Blues. As always, the group’s chemistry and ability to seek out the funny in any and all suggestions shone through. Their short set served as an apt teaser for their longer sessions on Monday evenings.
Following on was the team from Sandy’s Sundown Stand-Up. Representation from the monthly stand up event was limited to organiser, convener-general and the self-labelled ‘Big Dog of Comedy’ Jamie Jones, and 4th year Bennett Bonci, but the duo more than pulled their weight. Jones raised the bar for show plugs, as he managed to spin a simple introduction to the monthly stand up gig into a decent 5-minute set. Bonci followed up with a highly enjoyable set, spinning his yarn from experiences from the mythical zone that is unknown to most students – Sunday mornings. Though at times too wordy, Bonci’s set included simple references that were so visually powerful and immediately accessible few could hold back their laughter.
The final act of the night was the somewhat trimmed down St Andrews Revue – with a smaller cast than usual, performing sketches from their recent Fringe show. Though the writing was up to the usual high calibre, this was unfortunately not the Revue at their best. Perhaps because of fatigue (they had been performing their full fringe show just a few hours before) or because they were working on skits with a much smaller crew than usual, their execution was found somewhat lacking. They seemed —uncharacteristically— a little nervous, and missed out on their punch lines through much of their set. They did, however, end strongly, with an interview-based sketch in which all the members seemed to find their groove, and bring the night to fitting close.
Throughout the night, there were many moments where I was consumed in raging jealousy, wondering why I had not come up with that damn joke before. A good sign. I thoroughly enjoyed the hour long set, and judging from post-show comments, I think most others attending did too. I look forward to seeing what the new Comedy Society has in store for us.
Oh! The store has opened. The first Sandy’s Sundown Standup is Tuesday the 22nd. We shall see.