Ralph Wainer reviews the recent Comedy Collaborative Evening, commending its successes despite its rough edges.
A fresh comedy show, it was clear to see the considerable preparation done by the group acts for this evening of entertainment. The solo-performers took on their role with ease, earning all-important laughs from the audience, whereas the group performances were dynamic and diverse.
With a generous handful of performers including a guest from Newcastle and Durham’s very own ‘ShellShock’, watching this Comedy Collaborative Evening was, all-in-all, a pleasurable experience.
In 90 minutes, the audience got to see sketches in which Super Mario gets murdered by Luigi, Joseph Stalin considers the Meerkat as an ideal weapon to confuse Western car insurances and one where God appraises the making of a Hollywood movie based on his deeds. One of my favourite sketches was the one where a cat and a dog get interviewed for the position of house pet. I must also commend the comedy boot-camp performance, which was flawless (and also involved very well executed press-ups – well done)!
To finish the evening off, we were entertained by 4 members of ShellShock!. They gave a very confident performance, and as an audience member, they give the impression that nothing could go wrong on stage (and that they have a back-up plan if needed).
The audience participation was effective, in particular a sketch involving two students from the audience handling the actors like marionettes. Their sketches were delightfully random, with the most extraordinary one being where someone illegally killed a dragon and then escapes on a hovercraft with Avril Lavigne.
In short, it would seem that ShellShock! has become more professional throughout the course of the year, and beginning to assert themselves as a society that everyone should want to join.
Everyone during the evening performed very skilfully, and there was the general impression that all the performers were experienced; I could not single out any beginners on stage.
However, I would encourage a greater balance between the sketch-artists, as there were moments where two comedians out of three would take over. There was also a slight issue concerning the cost of the tickets, which some might have considered a bit too high when compared to other plays on offer, including the free evening of Stand-up comedy on Friday night. There were some minor delays to start off with and a small audio problem, these are relatively trivial points when compared to the comparative successes of the show itself.
All in all, it was a great evening despite the rough edges, and I can only recommend anyone curious about comedy to spend an evening with any of the members of this collaboration.
Image: Zenia Selby