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Jericho Comedy and Friends

Bringing you our favourite stand-ups from around the UK
The Jericho Tavern, 56 Walton Street, Oxford OX2 6AE, Fri 9 March 2018

March 12, 2018
Comedy for our modern times

As I said to compere Alex Farrow before the show, this isn’t the first time I’ve been to a Jericho Comedy night, and sometimes I even pay for it. It wasn’t quite the compliment I meant to give, so let me redeem it - as a reviewer, and a paying member of the audience (sometimes), Jericho Comedy has never disappointed. I hope this is a bit better, Alex.

Jericho Comedy with Friends is one of many nights organised and run by Tight Five Comedy. Line-ups are a secret until the night and comprise both up-and-coming comedians and those well-established on the circuit. All funds go to mental health charity Mind and to date they’ve raised an enormous £8600.

All four of the comedians performing gave tight, professional sets. These were bound together by Alex Farrow, whose noble attempt at squeezing any comedic value from a front row financial advisor left me even more impressed of the role of the compere.

Pre-interval comedians, Mickey Overman and Sophie Duker, rested upon a wide range of hard-hitting topics - feminism, race and the royal family. Dutch Overman largely based her comedy on her experiences looking after entitled British children, truly a set for nannies everywhere. This descended (ascended?) into a series of comi-tragic sex and dating stories - in my eyes, you can never go wrong with laying this out on the table at a comedy night, or any night. Only a liar will tell you there’s nothing funny about their sex life.

My favourite line of the evening, given by Sophie Duker, was ‘Feminism is like quinoa - nobody knows what it means.’ A line for our modern day indeed. Duker also spoke about votes for women; her explanation on exactly which women got the right to vote in 1918 puts a slight dampener on our hundred-year anniversary. Eligible women had to be as follows: over 35 (men had to be 21), married to a landowner or be a landowner themselves, and white. We discovered that none of us women sitting there in the room would have been eligible to vote at this time. This atrocity was discussed in an elegant and enlightening way, an ability known only to very talented comedians. I also saw this ability in Jacob Fowley, whose set focused on another important part of British culture - the nonsense that is racist British patriotism. He used the story of Saint George and the Dragon to articulately slam down anyone who thinks they can condone racist views by harking back to a made-up story about a made-up man killing a made-up monster. Similarly, though focusing across the pond, Rob Oldham spoke about American gun culture, highlighting its ridiculousness by replacing the word ‘gun’ with ‘butt plug’. This allowed him such lines as ‘My dad bought me my first butt plug when I was fourteen’ and, ‘my dad was the first who taught me how to plug a butt!’

My plus-one and I spent the latter part of the evening talking to the comedians and compere, who even included us in his round - hosting till the very end! My incline into inebriation saw me becoming overly confident about my own comedic prowess, and I have a vague and daunting memory that I said I wanted to come to some of their reading sessions. God save me.

Given the amount of appalling and embarrassing elements of British history and current culture brought up this evening, it left me startlingly positive about my country. Aren’t we lucky as a land to have been settled in by such witty, positive and talented people? Long may it last.

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