HAHA's at the Hatters is a new comedy night on at The Mad Hatter on the last Wednesday of every month. May’s acts were Max Dickens, Chris Meeson and headliner Andrew Bird.
The Mad Hatter is an unusual venue for a comedy night, but very charming. You need to answer a riddle to get in and there’s an extensive cocktail menu and no windows. One table ordered a drink for ten people, which was served with fireworks in a glitter ball – a bit of a gift for the comedians. It made a lovely change to the usual carling-in-plastic-glasses comedy club vibe.
The night was a sell out show, partly because one of the acts, Chris Meeson, has a lot of local fans. This made for a lovely community atmosphere – this was the kind of night where you actually talked to the people you were sitting next to rather than staring awkwardly at the table between sets. The compere judged this friendly but tipsy crowd brilliantly, pitching fairly edgy jokes in a way that kept the audience on side.
Max Dickens provided a solid opening – I liked his self deprecating, mildly surreal style. Chris Meeson was next, with material that was a little old-school for my tastes, but nicely delivered and went down a storm with some of the crowd. Finally we had Andrew Bird, who delivered a really skilful set, dark but heart warming. The balance between charming twenty-something middle class observational comedy and slightly more biting elements was great, and I liked the feminist undertones of a lot of his material. The best thing about mixed bill nights like this is the opportunity to discover a new favourite, and Bird didn’t disappoint.
Overall the line up was a great mix, and this night has hit exactly the right balance – there’s something here for everyone, from diehard comedy fans to birthday groups. This is a great value, quality night, put together with heart.