Up for a laugh at the Wolsey

HAVING seen great comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival over the last few years, it is refreshing to see some top acts making to Ipswich.Up For A Laugh at the New Wolsey Theatre last nightsaw some polished performances from four very different comedians, who are all gaining popularity on the comedy circuit.

HAVING seen great comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival over the last few years, it is refreshing to see some top acts making to Ipswich.

Up For A Laugh at the New Wolsey Theatre last nightsaw some polished performances from four very different comedians, who are all gaining popularity on the comedy circuit.

Considering that a show of hands at the beginning revealed that just half the crowd had seen comedy before, I was impressed by how open people were, particularly with certain riskier gags.

Matthew Reed, the Geordie compere, geared the crowd up nicely with a few great one-liners. He was only slightly weak when he tried to involve members of the audience in his banter. Perhaps he was expecting some heckling (there wasn't any) so instead he had to instigate conversation, which led to a lack of momentum occasionally.

Markus Birdman was the next comedian up, and despite an initial fear that he would spend his whole set asking where everyone was from, he soon warmed up and got the crowd on his side.

Although he had some of his routine prepared, a lot appeared to be off-the-cuff. Whereas some comedians seem to thrive on this sort of style, I felt he maybe lacked experience slightly as this caused him to falter at times.

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Paul Sinha, a nominee of the prestigious If.comeddie award in 2006 given at the end of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, provided a flawless performance. His humour was intelligent and his material, which was all very narrative-based, had clearly been well prepared. He is definitely one to watch out for.

The headline act, Ian Stone, appeared to be the most confident, in terms of going off on a tangent and still raking in the laughs. Ranked one of the top ten stand-ups in Britain according to one national newspaper, he has had several television appearances on comedy shows like Mock The Week and Never Mind The Buzzcocks and it is easy to see why. Many were left in stitches at his effortless, easy going performance.

Reed said there will be another one-night comedy show at the theatre next month and I would recommend everyone to give it a go.

NAOMI CASSIDY

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