The Stand Society’s Second ‘Coming’ provided a brilliant evening full of laughter and second-hand embarrassment. The newly founded society had a full house, with a supportive audience and some lovely drinks from the Holy Grale.
Sascha Lo as MC was a phenomenal choice; her jokes reflected exactly how the audience felt about the acts. Yet, she was self-deprecating, unafraid to improvise with audience members, and constantly aware of the vibe in the pub.
Amir Davies kicked off the evening with confidence despite this being his first-time trialling stand-up comedy. His deadpan and dry commentary on his personal experience was the perfect introduction to the evening.
Ivo Pope was next, and he provided some tongue-in-cheek classic penis and privilege jokes. He was successful as a performer, commanding attention from the audience throughout his set, made clear from the constant ‘ooos’ as his comedy occasionally verged on being mildly offensive.
Mick Webber, as Sascha implied, brought ‘diversity’ to the group, being a middle-aged second-year undergraduate. His set received the most laughs when he demonstrated self-awareness and delivered short and punchy, well thought out humour that Mick should be thoroughly commended for. Unfortunately, he did get a bit lost along the way, and eventually, his comedy felt like dinner party stories, yet with an MC like Sascha, this was quickly forgotten.
Liv Montgomery, the only female stand-up comedian of the evening, was iconic. Her set was fun, fresh, relatable, and delivered with inspirational confidence. James Murray, who followed her, was equally as self-assured and certainly knew how to deliver a line. While some of his jokes, particularly the more politically incorrect ones, didn’t quite hit, the majority did.
James Noland brought a different approach to comedy, using explicit language in every line, and having nearly all of his jokes directly relate to the Durham student experience. There are no words to describe the next performer, solely known as ‘The Love Machine’. Describing himself as a ‘sensual, compassionate lover with the heart of a lion’, his set was wildly different to anything the audience had seen before and got rather painful. Yet again, Sascha saved the show with a hilarious joke: ‘this is what happens when gingers lose their virginity.’
Rik Knowles, the next comedian, put on a performance for the audience, using different accents and physicality to tell personal stories interlinked with one-liners. Having Joe Skaria finish the night was a great decision. He delivered a Durham based sketch full of comedy that many had thought but not yet voiced about aspects of Durham, such as Nightline. He overcame tech problems with ease and finished the evening off successfully.
Overall, it was a fun and enjoyable evening. I certainly do not envy the performers, and the fact that all of their sets were individual and went relatively smoothly demonstrates impeccable talent – particularly for student stand up.
Image credit: The Stand Society