Review: Ian Coppinger, Paul Myrehaug, Anthony Young, Jonathan Pelham & Susan Morrison – Newcastle Stand
Tonight’s show at the Newcastle Stand starts frenetically as host Susan Morrison eagerly attempts to involve the audience, encouraging ‘Jerry Springer’ style whooping and hollering.
Unfortunately, the majority of laughter seems forced, as Morrison’s glittery jacket and shoes combo possesses more sparkle than her material, which has a propensity to veer towards the lowest common denominator.
What’s more, the speed at which she hurtles through her back-catalogue of crassness, presumably in fear of the audience’s silence, can also make her difficult to decipher at times.
As Jonathan Pelham takes to the stage the contrast in pace could hardly be greater.
His steady, staggered delivery reflects an impressive level of confidence for such a young comic, and the level of suspense this style enables him to build invariably results in more favourable responses to his well-tailored gags.
Self-deprecation is Pelham’s favoured field, creating a sense of pathos whilst simultaneously entreating the audience to enjoy the funny side of his misfortunes, dabbling in topics such as his multiplicity of nipples and his ‘clinically ugly’ face.
He closes his set with a tale that receives the best response of the night, the concluding punch-line of which enables Pelham to demonstrate that he is in fact more fortunate than some.
After the interval local comedian Anthony Young is behind the mic, beginning by discussing his tendency to be mistaken for Johnny Vegas.
However, his appearance isn’t the only similarity; as a performer there are also parallels, as Young endears himself to the audience despite his perpetual swearing and penchant for discussion of anti-social behaviours.
His claim that all his stories are founded in truth appears in itself to be truthful; as a single 30 year old who has only recently moved out of his parents’ house, Young’s experiences speak to a generation and The Stand laps it up tonight.
Paul Myrehaug is next to perform, and perform he does.
Idiosyncratically prowling the stage, Myrehaug’s charisma captivates the audience; supremely assured, the venue is at ease from the get-go.
The Canadian opens with an explanation of one of his favoured pulling techniques, which somewhat stereotypically, is concluded with a grizzly bear impression – a brilliant one at that.
As his set progresses it becomes clear that the opposite sex – and sex itself – are areas in which he makes the majority of his observations, however, many of his best laughs are garnered through his accounts of tribulations at Sainsbury’s (or ‘Sainsberries’ as he pronounces it).
As Myrehaug bemoans the fatigue induced as a result of working twenty minute days, it is both evident that The Stand would appreciate a longer shift; it’s remarkable that Myrehaug was able to create such a distinctive and memorable persona in such a brief period.
Headliner Ian Coppinger begins by pointing out the obvious – his lack of height.
At 5’2 there is fortunately a lot more to him comedically, and although his material pertaining to his shortness is largely enjoyable, it is slightly disappointing that he lingers on this subject quite so long considering his talent.
Storytelling is where the Irishman excels, exhibiting his wealth of experience as he delivers his material without hitch in the face of untimely audience intervention.
Coppinger’s set has universal appeal and it is difficult to see how any punters could dislike the show he put on tonight.
As the night draws to a close happy faces filter out of The Stand after what was, all in all, a good night of comedy.
Date of live review: Saturday 5 October 2013