[Tom Rowe | Contributing Writer]
In amongst the frightening lead up to Halloween, a select quadruple of comedians attempted to extract a wave of laughter from the frightened faces in Hertford on Saturday 25th October, with Trident Media lucky enough to attend. Boy did they deliver! The compere for the evening was the witty Tom Toal, who smoothly warmed the crowd up; perhaps making those sat on the front row regret their choice of seat.
Matthew Osborn was first in line to tickle our chins, using his upper-middle class persona to his advantage, joking that even he was broke. However, due to the lack of audience participation (or maybe the room was just full of well-off people) Osborn managed to establish that only he and one audience member were broke – an audience member now dubbed as the one homeless man in Hertfordshire, poor bloke. Despite the lack of response from the audience, Matthew was still able to improvise material, claiming the women were men in wigs and producing material about the apparent ‘well-off’ state of the area. Putting my own opinion to the side, it was confirmed that the set was funny by the man sat behind me with a very funny (and consistent) laugh.
Next up was Carly Smallman. Now, whether it was intended or not, we only managed to see about five minutes of Carly’s ‘actual’ set as she managed to get side tracked so easily on the topic of internet dating. Carly had a good old natter with a fellow female internet dater who she found out was on a date with her boyfriend…who she met on tinder. Smallman managed to keep the audience amused with her experiences on her preferred dating sites and even finished up her set with a little sing-song.
After a short interval, Steve Day took to the stage and was undoubtedly the audience’s favourite. Day used his deafness to his advantage, mixing innocent words with crude ones by ‘mistake’, words such as ‘account’ (think about it guys…), however Steve didn’t just rely on this to make jokes. He was able to execute self-demeaning comedy regarding his own intelligence superbly, quickly followed by turning the tables and laughing at other sub-cultures, namely the ‘wannabe gangster’ youth of today. Such topics certainly seemed to strike home with the audience who couldn’t stop laughing.
Last up was Pete Firman, a magical comedian. His stage presence was impressive, despite putting himself down with the odd joke, his confidence was overwhelming, perhaps a reason why he wasn’t able to get the audience participation and response he desired (although all four comics struggled with this). The ability to do magic whilst making the audience laugh is one to be admired, however; only three or four tricks were performed between the gags. But then who am I to judge, I can’t even do the tricks (or make people laugh).
All in all, it is easy to say the night was a success, with such a variety of musical, magical and comical acts, the audience was always entertained. Who knows, perhaps one of the performers inspired a young audience member who will appear on stage in years to come. But until then Live at the Hertford Theatre returns in the new year!