Marcel Lucont dresses exquisitely, yet leaves off his shoes and spends the entire show strutting with absolute flair in his barefoot bliss. He is the perfect host for Le Comique. His relaxed manner oozes everywhere, infecting everything, and his smooth, attractive, French accent is incredible to listen to: a voice you could never grow tired of. He holds the evening together well with his interactive and witty repartee (he has the audience in stitches by picking on them randomly) and his musical ditty about ‘How to Leave Your Lover' is a hit. He leaves the audience wanting more: such a tease!
Marcel is joined by the Hairy Soul Man and Band, who, like the host, stay onstage the entire evening. The band is funky and electric, and although a little overpowering at some points, is the cherry on top of the cheesecake. The Hairy Soul Man himself (Kai Smythe) is a strong musical performer, with a fine voice, but when he tries to be funny without the aid of music it dies, and to be frank it is a bit hit and miss. Throughout the course of the evening Marcel, Kai, and the band provide lashings of jazzy comedy that is lapped up eagerly, including a great deal of interaction with the audience.
James Nokise is the typical guy everyone can't help laughing with. He brings that Kiwi flavour to each of his gags, and his sense of humour is contagious. His delivery is clear and he maintains a steady pace; no awkward timing here. The audience enjoys his comments on gangs, and his Kim DotCom impression is creepily funny.
Three short skits are performed throughout the show by Jackie Van Beek and Johnny Brugh. Their portrayal of two travellers with thick accents is bizarre. They are funny and I get their act, but I don't think it's appreciated as well as it could have been by the audience. Some slight timing issues include raining on their own comedy by stopping some of the laughter to deliver an important punch line (this only happens once, but it does spoil it).
Londoner Sara Pascoe delivers her gags with a kind of ladylike gentleness; never pushes too hard or lets any of her jokes fall flat either. She has discovered the perfect balance for her as a comedian and I enjoy her natural conveyance. Her jokes about her current boyfriend and his big belly are very jovial.
Trygve Wakenshaw is extraordinary. He is tall and lanky, and uses this to his advantage as he unleashes some of the most elegant physical comedy upon the audience. He knows how to use every single bone in his body to draw laughs; it is mind-blowing to watch. The sound effects that Wakenshaw makes accompany the physical ridiculousness magnificently. He gallops round the stage, pretending to be a horse one minute, the next he is playing a both a baby bird and its mother who brings it breakfast. An outstanding comedian who will not fail to surprise you.
James Acaster ‘claims the stage' by wheeling himself on in a swivel office chair and the audience immediately adore him. He is one of these incredibly calm comedians who delivers with seemingly little effort, but manages to maintain a good consistency throughout his act. I like his idea of having infinite genies and his grand departure of wheeling offstage (assisted by Marcel and the Hairy Soul Man) is very amusing and entertaining.
Tom Binns, as hospital radio show host Ivan Brackenbury, plays the cloddish character that we all recognize at once. Awkwardly standing in front of the mic, with long pants and sandals, he pulls his trousers up and zips his fly shut. The comedy comes from the complete mess he makes of the technical side of his pretend radio show and the shout outs and requests made to patients in the hospital. His character comedy reminds me a lot of Matt Lucas. A smashing performance, through the roof.