‘Tis the season to be jolly and at Winter Wonderland – the veritable angel atop London’s Christmas tree of festive activities – the gay apparel has truly been donned as The Comedy Club returns for a second yearly instalment.
Nestled in a corner of Hyde Park is the Megadome; a circus tent which every Thursday – Saturday from now until Christmas transforms into a comedic oasis amidst the swathe of Ferris wheels, neon lights and bierkellers.
“Come in it’s warm inside!” promised the sign outside, as guests were tempted into the tent by the smell of popcorn and sound of Prosecco corks popping.
Host Emmanuel Sonubi opened proceedings with a north London swagger, easing the audience in with some lively interaction:
“Who in here’s got kids?” *stifled cheer*
“Who hasn’t got kids?” *crowd whoops*
“You see the difference?!”
Sonubi made way for Thomas Green, the opening act all the way from Adelaide, Australia.
Green’s energetic stage presence warmed a cold winter night. He’d recently moved to Britain for a beautiful British fiancé – who he hadn’t yet met.
No, actually he had – and his new blue passport was in the post, suckers.
Green’s repertoire took the audience on a sweeping journey: being an Australian in Britain, his experiences as a schoolteacher, engaged life and spiders.
His musical description of a trip to Nottingham Primark as comparable to Willy Wonka amidst thousands of Oompa Loompas – rewording the lyrics to ‘in a world of pure imagination’ to ‘a world of tracksuits and foundation’ – was a particular highlight.
Green’s anecdotes from his previous job as a teacher were equally convincing, not least the story of artistic protégée ‘Timothy’, who was able to create an incredibly lifelike representation of his rotund mother solely through the use of Play-Doh.
After further explanation of the exact anatomical locations where Green finds his fiancés malted hair and the contrasting approaches of spiders in the UK and Australia – “Australian spiders will just sit on your steering wheel and say ‘yeah, you’re not driving today mate’”, Green handed the microphone to BBC radio royalty Marcus Brigstocke.
Another comic choosing to open by revealing the latest on his love life – “I just got married! Not for the first time…” – Brigstocke’s vast array of impressions and mix of political and personal anecdotes fit perfectly with the international audience inside the Megadome.
Brigstocke was scathing about Donald Trump, the US – “your immigration system is based on an episode of Scooby Doo – man with a beard, oh no!”, Brexit voters – “just read a bit more, it’s really easy” and politics generally, comparing a general election victory for either party to winning a goldfish – “either way, it dies in the bag en route home.”
Elsewhere Brigstocke was equally compelling on parenting. In particular, the question of how his daughter was supposed to understand the modern world if she listened to adverts – “How do you make sense of periods?! This is supposed to be light blue screen wash on a flat white surface!” – showcased his ability to deal with the personal as persuasively as the political.
Overall, a fantastic night – the acts were excellent, despite occasional moments of uncertainty as to whether the audience had understood a joke purely because of the timbre of a circus tent.
The audience left in good spirits, fa la la la la, la la la la-ughing into the London night.