Review: Steffen Peddie, Lee Kyle, Nick Cranston & Al Dawes – The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle
Here at Giggle Beats The Laughing Penguin Comedy Club comes highly recommended for providing a laughter fuelled night out, and our latest trip was no exception.
The small, intimate venue provided the stage for a whole variety of comedy treats, however only one of the advertised comedians were on show. With Andrew Ryan stuck in traffic and Dave Longley unable to make it too, it was down to the organisers to think on their feet and conjure up acts with less than an hour until opening. Steffen Peddie, now switching from MC to the headlining act, and other local acts were at hand to save the day, and we now had all the ingredients for a funny night.
First up was our new MC for the evening, co-founder of The Laughing Penguin and self confessed hair straightening addict, Tony Jameson. With a small audience such as tonight no one is safe, and using his sharp wit and charm he managed to gain laughs by extracting basic information from the audience and making it funny. Sharing personal experiences such as his difficulty to shower after his knee operation, he gracefully stumbled across some of the bigger laughs of the night.
Next to take centre stage was Al Dawes, the Southern export since claimed by Newcastle, having lived here for 15 years. Dawes has instant likeability on stage, coming across as warm, funny and rather nervous. To be fair to Dawes, having managed to break the stage and tangle himself up in the microphone cable mere minutes into his set, it probably didn’t help his confidence. Despite this he recovered quickly and his material went down well. With tales of his attempts to pull the ladies of Newcastle, his antics with flat mate Gus and his stint working in a cheese factory, he produced many a laugh.
Nick Cranston, the Sunderland based comic was next to take the mic and he did so with gusto. He was confident and well prepared as he delved straight in with quirky jokes. The segment of his act that went down best was his method of complaint when recently asked for I.D. His routine was fast paced, touching on various topics but all seemed neatly woven together with a clear start, middle and end.
In my opinion the next act was the highlight of the evening, as relatively new performer Lee Kyle took to the stage armed with props. His act was unlike any I had seen before, aptly named ‘Flags Of The World’, Kyle put on an almost show and tell type performance with hand painted flags at the ready. Firing out laughs left, right and centre he managed to hit every person in the room. It was intelligently put together, completely original and the best geography lesson I‘ve experienced.
Finally our headlining act was the quintessential Geordie, Steffen Peddie. As you would expect from a man who spent many a year as a professional wrestler, Peddie has a forceful presence on stage. Relaxed and in control, a lot of his material was based around his experiences with the opposite sex. His unsuccessful attempt at speed dating in particular brought about an infectious chuckle from the room.
However in all honesty I came away from the night with mixed feelings on Peddie. At times he had the audience belly laughing as he interacted with the audience, but at others he seemed to lose the crowd’s interest. His anecdotes had the potential to be extremely funny but the lengthy delivery spoiled the effect. He seemed at his best when he was working off the cuff, and that’s when most of his laughs came.
What could have been a disastrous night with the earlier complications actually turned out great. Kudos has to be paid to the organisers for pulling it out of the bag at such short notice.
More information about The Laughing Penguin Comedy Club can be found on their website here.