Richard Milburn

Review: Rob Collins, Simon Buglass, Bingo From Benton, Dan Willis – The Corner House, Newcastle

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Rob Collins | Giggle Beats

Rob Collins

The Grinning Idiot Comedy Club has recently provided top-class entertainment around the North East. I was especially looking forward to this specific gig at The Corner House because I wasn’t familiar with of the majority of the performing acts. I had high hopes and was eager to find out if the night could live up to my expectations.

Dan Willis proved to be one of the best to compere, readying the audience for a night of comedy with a more than friendly presence. His anecdotes fit perfectly into the gaps between the main acts and he seems to have one ready for anything thrown at him. Encouraging hecklers to ‘get it out of their system’ on him rather than the main acts supports his confidence and being able to deal with any riled-up locals.

Soon after, strutting to the stage sporting an England football top, it was obvious that Bingo (from Benton)’s national pride would shine – he most certainly exceeded my expectations. Regaling the audience with subject matters he once voiced on Alan Robson’s Night Owls radio show we get very specific insights into Bingo’s ambitions, intentions and reasoning for his actions. His heavy local accent emphasises his unique perspectives and could be said to allow us to forgive him for his misinterpreted actions. His reminiscing, although sometimes felonious, is hilariously delivered and his charm makes up for his somewhat deprived intellect. More information on Bingo can be found here.

Simon Buglass was second on the bill. Having perused stand-up for a little over a year now, it is apparent that Buglass has developed his routines enough to deliver them in a style he is comfortable with. Energetically, his set advances quicker than I think it should have. I believe that if he took slightly more time on some of his stronger concepts rather than squeezing them into one set then perhaps he would appear more proficient.

Finally, heckling their way through what seemed like half of Rob Collins’ performance, a handful of the audience ‘welcomed’ Collins to the stage by endlessly riffing mindlessly on their ‘final act buzz’. Potentially ruining the end to a great night, this would have corrupted a lesser comedian but in my opinion, London-based Rob Collins’ headline slot was, in essence, worthy of a full night. Handling the rowdiness of a now somewhat alcohol-influenced Newcastle audience with such professionalism was something to admire; calm, witty and hilarious. The crowd eventually subsided and we eventually heard what he had come to share. I’d definitely recommend seeing Collins at every opportunity – I assure that even if the show turns out to be, as he described, ‘the most bizarre’ he had encountered, or even an uninterrupted performance, laugher will devour you.

All in all, The Grinning Idiot managed to get it spot-on once again and I urge you to attend any of their shows; they have proved that they’re the best to rely on if you want to see something you’re guaranteed to enjoy.

Upcoming listings from The Grinning Idiot can be found here.