Andrew Dipper

Review: Simon Donald, Susie Thorel, Lisa Ross, Barry, Carl Sonley, Gary Coleman and George Zach – Dog and Parrot, Newcastle

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Simon Donald | Giggle Beats

Simon Donald

Long Live Comedy is a Newcastle comedy club with a great deal of experience and a little prestige under its belt. However tonight was Giggle Beats’ first outing at the open mic night – and by golly it was interesting. Tonight’s show consisted of resident MC George Zach, Gary Coleman, Carl Sonley, Barry, Lisa Ross, Susie Thorell and headliner Simon Donald.

Compere George Zach bantered well with the audience, however lacked the material to frame his solid interaction – I’d have to see Zach’s complete set in order to fully judge his ability as a comic, but he showed glimpses of good comedy.

Opening act Gary Coleman, one of two professionals on the Long Live Comedy line-up, had a good stage presence and effervescence about him – and though his straight jacket trick at the end of his set provided few laughs it was an entertaining finishing piece.

Next up was Carl Sonley as Doctor Carlos, his eccentric, morally questionable persona. Previous reviews of Sonley on this website have suggested the highlight of his set was his song about wee – though I would disagree. In fact, I would go as far as suggesting said song was the worst thing I have ever heard. However, despite the puerile wee song, Sonley was actually one of the brighter acts of the night, his jokes about incest and whiskey being particular highlights. He’s certainly got potential.

After the short break, Long Live Comedy regular Barry (whose surname remains a mystery) charmed the large audience with his upper class character comedy – and a series of clever, wordy routines. And following Barry was Lisa Ross, the surprise package and my favourite act of the evening. She had a good stage presence, adopted a successful (albeit unoriginal) persona, and told a series of genuinely amusing one-liners that I found to be laugh out loud funny. Ross was fantastic, and probably should have been given more time on stage, especially given the quality of the following act.

Susie Thorell was the penultimate act of the evening, and it was also her first ever gig. Credit to her for having the courage to get on stage and perform – it’s not something I could do. She had some good ideas, but more work needs to be done on the execution of her jokes. It’ll be interesting to see how she develops.

The final act of the evening was Newcastle’s own Simon Donald – a man whose face has been plastered across our website for the past week or so. Having seen, and reviewed, Donald a number of times I knew what to expect from his set – wonderful character comedy punctuated by profanities. Donald’s one of my favourite acts, and, though he performed what I feel are his weaker characters in Dominic Farquhar and Jeremy Jitler, he was still a very entertaining closing act and a cut above the rest on offer tonight at Long Live Comedy.

If you’re looking to see Long Live Comedy at the Dog And Parrot, more information is available here. Entry is only £2.