Compere Clint Edwards is like a knitter of crowds: he warms you up on a cold evening, weaves a good yarn, and has you in stitches pretty quickly.
Clint’s likeability quickly enthused the quiet crowd, marking the very first comedy show in the Comedy Box’s new Thursday night series at the Hen and Chicken.
Next up was the surprise jewel of the evening, 27-year-old Sean McLoughlin from Brighton. His bleak take on life is relentless, but he speaks with an original voice and appears refreshingly honest. He rails against letting agents, living in the countryside, being single and, most amusingly, sex. There are some beguiling turns of phrase in his act, and it was encouraging to see his body language and confidence grow as he realised he’d won over the crowd.
The second half felt like a rather different night, as Clint Edwards turned up the heat on his jokes attempting the shock factor for those who hadn’t heard the material before. It was a fitting start for laddish Matt Richardson, who unashamedly has ‘a chip on his shoulder about posh people’ and sets about making sure that you know where he stands on singledom and masturbation.
Despite only being on the circuit for five years, 23-year-old Matt looks like a confident veteran. Fans of X Factor Xtra might remember Matt for his hosting role alongside Caroline Flack – but his cheeky chappy persona belies a hidden bite. We get reeled in a number of times, and fall for his storytelling before the acerbic (and often dirty) punchline kicks in.
Perhaps it got a bit steamy for this crowd, but there’s no doubt that with young comics of this calibre, Comedy Box Thursdays are set to warm up weeknights from now on.
Matt Richardson played the Comedy Box, Bristol on Thursday 15 January. For upcoming Comedy Box line-ups, visit www.thecomedybox.co.uk