This event, in the newly re-built and very flash Social Club, is yet another evening of laughs put together by Bath’s own comedy impresario, the estimable Nick Steel. It’s compered tonight by the amiable James Bran who does the usual riffing with individual audience members which seems inevitable nowadays. You never know whether to feel a bit left out at not getting the attention; or relieved not to get picked on. At any rate, he’s friendly and doesn’t do the put-downs beloved of some comics. And later on, when doing a bit of his own material, proves himself to be an agile and very funny comic. First act up is Bilal Zafar who, as a Muslim, has no comedy choice these days but to base his act around that, which he does expertly with a wickedly dry routine about his teasing of right-wing dimmos on the twittersphere. It manages to be hysterically funny and mildly depressing at the same time – funny because he is, very; depressing at the stupidity of the racists he fools with.
Benji Waterstones comes in with some apparently random but actually cleverly pointed stuff about life, dentistry and his involvement in the medical profession, which leaves this critic too busy laughing to remember what the exact gags are.
Philip Cooper is unabashedly Welsh, bounding with energy, and can get more laughs out of the dragon on the Welsh flag than you’d think possible.
Headliner Nick Doody winds the evening up with rapid-fire and wide-ranging observations on airport madness; gender differences with regard to the carrying of keys; love; sex; and a monstrously over-the-top routine about the masturbatory activities of adolescent boys – which notably excites more female than male laughter. Brilliantly performed stuff, winding up a comprehensively entertaining evening – and all for a tenner! How does Nick Steel do it?
John Christopher Wood