Review – Diss Corn Hall

Enough of the self-indulgent basking in glory of my Freshly Pressed post.  Back to the real world.  Here’s a review from a show I did at Diss Corn Hall with Jessica Fostekew and Dougie Dunlop.


Corn Hall Comedy Club (Nov) – a review – Saturday 1st December 2012
On the coldest night this year, compere Jessica Fostekew wrapped up in her cardigan and did her level best to thaw out a diffident Corn Hall audience with a frenetic mix of physical comedy and unremitting jolliness. Breaking the obstinate back of the evening, she selflessly opened things up for the forthrightly named Ola, and the night’s headline act Dougie Dunlop.
The dictionary definition of dour Scotsman, Dunlop prowled around the stage with feral menace, spitting his misanthropic bile at subjects such as cuddly old people and small dogs. What kept the folk on side, and laughing, was the underlining humanity of his observations, and straight forward skill in telling a good gag. Dunlop is essentially an old pro – something he is perhaps uncomfortable with. Tellingly, he reserved his greatest opprobrium for the women that had the temerity of laugh at the idea he was still in his thirties.
So Dunlop was good, and made me laugh hardest, but I think the highlight of the evening was support act Ola. Not because he had me howling, but because his act was thoughtful and reflective and honest. Without proselytizing or falling back on lazy rhetoric, he explored what it’s like to be a Christian black man in the UK today, while being disarmingly frank about his unease at being defined by either his race or religion. Ola is the sort of comedian that may not have you clutching your ribs at the time, but I’m guessing his quiet observations will rattle round my head for days to come.
By David Vass


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