This was my second visit to The North Wall, so I was ready for the fairly intimate size and layout this time round, although I hadn’t thought of it as a ‘posh prison’ as Jo Caulfield so succinctly described it. And she’s absolutely spot-on; the ‘rabble’ in the middle (that’ll include me then!) and the benches along the side for the ‘screws’. Brilliant.
And so began an evening of sharply-observed, witty and sometimes quite acerbic humour. Jo Caulfield isn’t really ‘angry’ as the title of her show might suggest. More irritated and annoyed. Partly by men, in particular her husband, and partly by strangers, the loud woman on the Quiet Coach (Oh how I feel that particular rage!) being an excellent example.
The audience were roaring with laughter from the start and throughout (I did think someone had brought in their pet seal at first, but no, it was a particularly unusual laugh from a gentleman behind me…) and despite it being a Sunday night, there was a good turnout.
I always find it difficult watching a stand-up comedian like Caulfield. Her observational anecdotes have you nodding along, wanting to interject either to agree or tell your own, similar (although, let’s face it, probably less funny) anecdote. After the interval, there seemed to be a little of that going on in certain pockets of the audience, but either our performer didn’t notice it, or simply (and professionally) chose to ignore it and carry on regardless. She was very engaging and funny. There was some audience participation, usually at the expense of the audience-member in question, but never in a nasty way, always in good humour. Poor Stephen in the front row – we were all craning our necks for a look at his ‘tonal’ ensemble after it had been discussed at length.
Overall, a very enjoyable evening, for a school night. And it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who’ll stay longer on the bus just to finish eavesdropping on someone else’s interesting conversation.