Review: Mike Newall, Will Duggan, Kiri Pritchard McLean, Chris Tavner, Andy Fury & Steffen Peddie – The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle
The Laughing Penguin recently marked their 2nd birthday at The Bridge Hotel, and Wednesday’s show saw them play host to six comedians, with headliner Mike Newall closing the night in Newcastle.
MC Steffen Peddie, standing in for an absent Tony Jameson, is a warm, local act, and got most of the audience on side. His material was what you might expect from such a big personality – a lot of self deprecation – but it went down well and kept the audience receptive throughout the night.
The first acts on offer at The Bridge Hotel were local lad Andy Fury and Manchester’s Chris Tavner. Fury opened and didn’t exactly look overly comfortable in pole position; the material was strong and his audience interaction was expectedly impressive, but it never felt like he was able to get into the flow of things. Tavner followed and had similar problems – the laughs were there but there was little in the way of rhythm to his set. He did, however, tear up a bit of a storm with his closing piece, which included some very striking vocals from a quite unassuming looking comic.
Following the interval, Welsh comedienne Kiri Pritchard McLean offered some surprisingly dark material. Clearly at home sharing her most embarrassing secrets and stories – and not afraid to shock a few people – McLean probably had the hardest laughs of the night and impressed throughout. After came Will Duggan, who is an understated act. He managed to focus the energy left hanging in the air by the previous comic and had some wonderfully observed jokes. Go and see Will Duggan if you get the chance.
Closing tonight’s Laughing Penguin show was Mike Newell, recently reviewed by Giggle Beats here. Newall’s certainly got experience on his side, and it really shows in his confidence on stage and the relaxed, everyman style of his comedy; he brought the kind of relaxed laughter to the room that rounded off the night in a fitting fashion, and was by far the highlight of the show.
The next night at The Laughing Penguin is the debut of their New Acts and New Material night, Wednesday 16th March at The Bridge Hotel. See their website now for more information.