Review: Sam Gore, Katie Mulgrew, Kiri Pritchard McLean, John Purvis & Tony Jameson – Flix Movie Cafe, Hartlepool
Last Saturday, Hartlepool’s Flix Movie Cafe played host to their very first professional show, with five comedians, a supportive weekend crowd and a quirky room for live comedy. Flix is a genuinely impressive venue that offers an intimate outlet for live stand-up in the region, and certainly worth a visit if you’re in the area.
An accomplished compére, MC Tony Jameson was at ease with the dynamics of the room, and recovered well from bantering with a bigot in the front row. Bizarrely, the audience member in question provided an outlet for much audience interaction throughout the night, with headliner Sam Gore in particular taking advantage.
Opening act John Purvis struggled in the toughest spot of the night, despite smatterings of decent material. The Scot has some intelligent one-liners – often too subtle for the largely supportive crowd – and a visible enthusiasm for his comedy, but it was his predictable, wooden delivery that let him down.
In contrast, the middle section of the night showcased two of the brightest young stand-ups around at the moment: Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Katie Mulgrew.
Pritchard-McLean opened with some surprisingly blue material, but impressed throughout with plenty of laughs and confident ad-libbing with the fellow Welsh lady in the front row. Mulgrew too is a likeable comic, and offered a similarly inclusive style of comedy with enjoyable self-deprecating lines and a strong opening routine on working in a school.
Headlining the first professional show at Flix Movie Café was fellow Manchester-based comic Sam Gore. Gore is a hard-hitting comedian; a young, confident act whose adult humour went down a treat with this weekend crowd. His comedy is largely about exposing and attacking the world, with some superbly crafted gags that showcase a vivid use of imagery and language.
However my highlights came when Gore ventured from his tried and tested material – first to condemn the racist in the crowd, and then with a satirical song about nations of the world that, with a few tweaks, will be a nice addition to his act. And while Gore’s got a pretty tight twenty minute set in him, those two moments exemplify what I personally enjoy about his comedy: great word-play, refreshing honesty and a wonderfully dark view of life.