Stand-up Comedy Returns to Hersham!
Stand-up Comedy Returns to Hersham!
Earlier this year, live stand-up comedy made a welcome return to the Hersham, Walton-on-Thames area.
The Hersham Sports & Social Club played host to their very first comedy night, and what a wonderful addition to their entertainment offering it turned out to be.
Review by Mark Kilian, Freelance Journalist
Mark Palmer MC
The night, arranged and run by South African born comedian, and now local Hersham resident, Mark Palmer, was a laughter packed occasion. Palmer, the show organiser and resident MC held together a very professional showcase of comedic talent with wonderful audience work and slick, laugh out loud material, preparing them for the onslaught of funniness about to be unleashed upon them.
The venue, the perfect room for stand-up comedy was set out theatre style for the evening. Tables could’ve been laid out, but the seating chosen by Palmer on the night created the “this is a show” atmosphere needed and it worked. The venue was by no means packed to the rafters, but the volume of the laughter coming from an audience of about 40 guests would’ve lead anyone walking past to believe the show was a sell-out.
The lighting and the acoustics were first rate, Palmer’s aim was to make one believe that this was going to be a professionally run night of live comedy and he didn’t disappoint. And another bonus on the night was the fully stocked bar at very, very reasonable prices.
Apart from the great venue and the price of the beer, the main drawcard was the comedy and those traveling dispensers of mirth, the comedians. As already mentioned above, Palmer, the MC on the night, held the show together perfectly. His material was first and foremost funny, building the laughs steadily, warming the crowd up easily for what lay ahead.
First up was 2016’s English Comedian of the Year Winner Josh Pugh. Described by the press as having a “keen comic mind”, this young award winning comic did not disappoint. He was confident and assured behind the microphone, his sharp and very clever wit having the audience roaring with laughter or chuckling with amused fascination at some of the views pouring from this young man’s mouth.
My favourite line was about people bragging about completing the London Marathon, Pugh going on to muse “it’s been done mate.”
A solid, professional, funny opening act, the night was off to a flying start.
The break was followed with Palmer again dropping some words of marital wisdom onto the eager audience and the introduction of the middle section of the night and two more comedians. Ian MacDonald, new to the comedy circuit, traveled from Newbury for his 10 minutes on stage. He kept the laughs flowing with some clever observations on the French language.
Following was the almost cartoon-like Rob Thomas.
Thomas was the runner-up in the Old Comedian of the Year competition this year and his experience shone through. His unkempt hair, large eyes and gangling appendages makes him instantly likeable to the audience and his material keeps that feeling going.
He’s funny and clever and the physicality of his set was first rate. If you have the opportunity to see him live, go, his “Benefit Flakes” bit will have you gasping for breath.
After one final break, Palmer came back onto stage and wasted no time in bringing on the headliner for the evening, “the oldest working Jewish comedian”, Sol Bernstein.
Sol, the alter ego of comedian Steve Jameson, is a one-man comedic wrecking ball.
No stone was left unturned or made fun of. His movements were slow but jokes were rapid fire, leaving the audience struggling for breath, as he hit them with one punchline after the next. You can’t help but fall in love with the Sol Bernstein character.
He’s everyone’s granddad, well everyone’s offensive granddad, but you don’t care, he’s funny and you’d happily introduce him to your Nan, that’s all that counts.
From the moment Palmer walked onto the stage to welcome everyone to the show, right up until Sol Bernstein left everyone’s jaws and stomachs in agony, the night was faultless and world class and all for a tenner (try get this show, and those drink prices for a tenner in London).
The audience cheered for more nights like this and rightly so. It would be a shame if this was a once off.
Laughter is a medicine and in these stressful times, we need to laugh, please sir, can we have some more?
December Date To be confirmed.
Hersham Sports and Social Club – 128 Hersham Road, Hersham, KT12 5QL
Tickets sold on a first come first served basis on the day!
The show starts at 8pm – get there early to avoid disappointment!
You can see their flyer here:
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