Andy Robinson (MC), John Lynn, Noel James, Marlon Davis
Andy Robinson hosted the evening with a likeable persona and good patter. Because of the format of the night, most of his material took the form of an extended birthday shout out, but it was very sweetly done. When he ventured into his own material it was clever and unexpected - I'd love to see him do a proper set.John Lynn delivered a chilled out, charming set, primarily concerned with drinking and poo. I love jokes about drinking and poo, and I love cheeky Irish guys. John was great.
Noel James was, for me, the weak point of the evening. His material wasn't bad, and initially I enjoyed the quick fire of clever/stupid jokes - nothing surprising, but competent. Soon, though, the routine got way too old fashioned for me. Jokes about beating women and "spazzes" don't sit easily with me. A Robert De Niro impression is almost worse. I did love his closing joke, though - "I've been a star tonight... by which I mean, by the time you see me, I've already died." Quite.Marlon Davis was easily my favourite part of the evening. He delivered nicely paced observational comedy with well managed punchlines. A lot of gentle observational comedy can feel a bit dated ("You know when you go into the post office and-" No. No, we don't.) but Marlon's run down of the perils of buying a t shirt online was fresh and well timed. There was some very sweet stuff about his family that I really liked. I'd take my Mum to see Marlon, and not in a bad way.
Despite the birthday party vibe, this was a good night out. It's nice to have a sampler of acts who you wouldn't normally see, and out of four, I'd go to see three again, which isn't bad odds.
Lucy Ayrton (DI Reviewer), 22/01/13
Andy Robinson (MC), Steve Shanyaski, Ron G, Paul McCaffrey
Saturday 17 November
A triple bill at Oxford’s Glee Club might not push the comedy envelope, but tonight it offered dependable fun.
The first act Steve Shanyaski managed to quickly win over the audience with a routine about drunken girlfriends and regret. He was affable, Northern and unaffected. After a slow start, he won round the crowd and carried us all along with him. He was daft and physical, endearing and sharp.
Ron G, on the other hand, gave us a quickfire delivery which did not quite take the audience along for the ride. He invited us along into his world, but didn’t really tell us enough about it for his material to hit home. Based around his family and growing up in the American South, his act might work with a better rapport. Maybe we missed the point, but the Atlantic should not be such a wide gulf.
Paul McCaffery, by contrast, very quickly had the crowd eating from the palm of his hand with a routine about speeding fines and petty annoyances. That is not to say it wasn’t funny - it was - and along with our compere Andy Robinson, Paul McCaffery was by far the best of the three comedians tonight at pitching to the audience. He was genial, likeable and down to earth.
But the most comfortable and able comedian of the night was the compere, Andy Robinson. It’s a rare night when the crowd look forward to the compere taking over but in this case we got a genial but snarky compere, who played off the audience without relying on us for his jokes.
Maybe it’s too much to expect from the Glee Club on a Saturday night, but I might have expected a bit more pushing of the boundaries, some material that is harder than standard audience banter. That wasn’t on offer tonight, but if you wanted time-tested and solid stand up, then look no further than tonight’s acts.
Hannah Watson (DI Reviewer), 19/11/12
3rd August 2012
Glee Club is one of Oxford’s pleasures. Reasonable ticket price, good food, an extensive cocktail menu, and waitress service to small, intimate tables close to the stage make for an enjoyable evening – even before burgeoning international names in comedy step up to entertain.
Saturday night’s hugely enjoyable show featured performers from Australia, Canada – and Bexleyheath.
Aussie Jacques Barrett’s reputation as ‘the guy who flies and never dies’ was once again confirmed in a confident, witty set. Barrett’s stage persona is daringly nondescript. Only someone confident in the strength and originality of their material could appear so unremarkable - indistinguishable from his audience. It was as though he’d just stepped from behind the bar. His observations, mimicry and timing hit the spot virtually every line.
Barrett lampooned the timidity of Canadians’ humour: it’s not very funny, but at least no-one got hurt…; the phwoah of Swedes: ‘God pressed Copy Paste'; the pigeon-necked Tourette spasm which struck Barrett Snr when a pooftah salmon came to mind, and the baffling fecundity of Weston-Super-Mare: ‘a pram pushed by a bigger pram’.
Bexleyheath-born Joey Page was less at ease, both with his material and the audience. His stage persona was carefully contrived : drainpipe jeans and a tight fitting jacket, over a leopard-skin blouse and diamante brooch. Oh, and a hat aka Pete Doherty. If only his material had been half as interesting and well executed as Barrett’s.
Old timer, Montreal-born Roy Vaudry sauntered on stage clutching his pint. He was totally in command, and looked and sounded as cynical and world-weary as his material: ’72 virgins? That’s not deflowering – that’s deforestation’. His timing was excellent, and ad-libs with the audience assured. He also best adapted to the night:
Compère Ninia Benjamin bounded between sets with energy and confidence. Offstage, she danced brilliantly, and her several acting successes at both Stratford and the Royal Court attest to her dramatic presence.
‘Sometimes I wish I was the environment – at least it’s being f*cked’ Benjamin quipped, in a rare hit. For the most part, Benjamin’s material needed work. A talented performer – even one deliberately larger than life, like Benjamin - still needs something to say.
Alison Boulton (DI Reviewer), 06/08/12
Taylor Glenn (MC), Liam Mullone, Steve Gribbin, Gary Delaney
Glee Club in Oxford, Sat 21st July 2012
The Glee Club is a friendly venue with tables for guests and a wide selection of food available. The evening started well: we were welcomed by the door staff and shown to our table, which was situated close enough to the stage to be able to soak up the atmosphere but so close that we had to join in (unlike the front row). The venue has a reasonably priced bar, and although we didn’t eat, the food looked very good as it was taken to other tables.
The night opened with Taylor Glenn, the MC and American comedienne hosting the evening. She was loud, sarcastic and very capable of deflecting the heckles from one of the large stag parties in that evening. I thought she was consistently amusing throughout the night, albeit in a slightly more confrontational way than some of the other comedians. It would be fun to see her perform at a gig in a longer slot as I appreciated her style of humour: slightly acerbic but realistic.
The first act was Liam Mullone. His comedy is based mainly on observational humour drawn from experiences with his family and with his wife during her pregnancy, but also rangers to wider commentary, for example on last year’s riots. His comedy was quite thoughtful and although he did seem slightly nervous at times, was a success.
After the interval, we had Steve Gribbin who came with a guitar, prompting speculation from me and my partner as to the merits of musical comedy. He was extremely satirical, had adapted a wide range of songs to different scenarios, and was completely hilarious. His material relied mostly on current events and news rather than more personal anecdotes and was extremely well-received.
The last act of the night was Gary Delaney: a comedian specialising in the traditional style of two liner jokes. Although some of these could have been described as predictable, there were still enough funny lines to keep me entertained throughout his section of the show. Again, he was also successfully received by his audience.
Overall, an entertaining evening which I would highly recommend to anyone. I would certainly consider attending again.
Jane Shields (DI Reviewer), 23/07/12
Mike Wilmot, Paul Thorne, Kerry Godliman, Imran Yusuf
Three great comedians graced Oxford’s Glee Club for a night of laughs and hilarity. A vibrant Imran Yusuf, dressed in a bright red suit, introduced the show and warmed the crowd in readiness for the arrival of the first comedian, Paul Thorne.
Gemma Callaghan (DI Reviewer), 28/05/12
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