Kevin Day - Standy Uppy
Gilded Balloon Billiard Room
HE is a good bloke Kevin Day. He's honest, he's likeable, he's intelligent, and has the ability to see the absurd in the blindingly obvious.
So why isn't this show funnier? Perhaps it's an expectation thing. It was the first time seeing a full stand-up show of his following years of being pleased when his name is mentioned as a guest.
The show does have a strong start and there are some exceptional belly laughs along the way, but there's just an expectation of more. With such an impressive pedigree of writing, it seems strange that so many minutes are taken up with telling us what we are about to see. When he's firing on all cylinders, it's superb stuff. When he's not, it's testament to his nature and the ambition of his polemic that it's just a disappointment not to like it more.
Anna Morris Would Like To Thank
WITH a strong online following for her monster bride Georgina, Anna Norris lets her loose as host of this character comedy show.
As compere of Woman of the Year, Georgina links Morris's well-constructed and skilfully performed characters. In these four wildly different women competing for the title, the accents are pitch perfect and in a small space Morris is fearless in committing to the more confrontational aspects of a couple of the characters.
While wondering if the music provides a little bit of padding, the writing is pretty polished, and one song, a dark twist on a Disney classic by the suburban baker is a gem.
Silky: Tribute Act
The Stand 4
LATE night at Stand 4 and the room is half full. That means 10 people of which one is Silky and one's doing the sound.
But the gems that can be found in the tiny rooms eh?
Before starting, Silky pops in and asks if anyone needs to go for "a whizz". The sound guy takes up the offer.
When the hour proper begins, Silky offers a blend of anecdote, observation and song. It can be gentle but occasionally roars. He's like your funny best friend - only funnier.
Silky isn't someone you'd see emerging from the dry ice of Live at the Apollo, but he's a darned sight funnier than some of Radio 4's current comedy output.
Barbara Nice: Squirrel Proof
THE post-lunch slot can be tough one. Audiences slightly sleepy from a glass of rose and ready for some gentle character comedy from Barbara Nice.
It doesn't take long for them to be shaken from their torpor. As a concept it's not wildly original, and many people will see some shades of Mrs Merton in there, but without giving the game away it manages to subvert the apparent cosiness beautifully.
Played with Janice Connolly (Phoenix Nights and Coronation Street) it has the fuzziness of Peter Kay's shows with a stranger edge.
When it gets into squirrel territory, the show takes off and manages to convince a crowd to become involved in some rather bizarre antics.