Lee Mack - compere for the night at The Comedy Store.
By Simon Pinion
SIX and a half thousand pounds was raised for the Teenage Cancer Trust at a Comedy Store event on Monday, November 12th, 2001.
A packed Leicester Square venue was treated to a quality line-up with an international flavour. Having been to many comedy nights at various clubs before, the norm is for the performers to be of mixed quality. Usually, you expect at least one of the comedians to be the recipient of heckles, not laughs.
Being a charity event, the atmosphere was maybe calmer than a regular Comedy Store evening. However, heckles really weren't called for as the laughs never really stopped.
Compere for the evening was Lee Mack, who has also compared this same event for the previous two years. He was one of the highlights of the evening for me bringing members of the audience in on the act, with ultra-quick hilarious comments.
The first act on were a young French duo, Ben and Arn, whose act mixed a French/English rapping song with misinterpretation of many English words and sayings. They were a good opener.
The second act, Arj Barker, hailed from Toronto, Canada. His mix of one-liners and funny stories made him a sure hit.
The last act before the break saw Ian Stone, comedian and occasional football pundit, win the audience over. Making fun of himself alongside audience members, Stone struck a perfect balance.
The first act after the break was the superb Milton Jones, my favourite. With his spiky hair and Seventies jumper, he was funny before he even spoke. One lady in the front row was in stitches all the way through his segment. I'll definitely be looking out for him on bills in the future.
The final act was, perhaps, the least funny of the night. Russell Peters, another Toronto man, had his moments, but failed to hit the comic heights of his predecessors.
Not having been to The Comedy Store before, I had preconceptions of the venue being unfriendly and commercial. This proved wrong. The atmosphere at this club was relaxed and provided the basis for an excellent comedy night.
Louise Baskin, the event organiser, did a great job. Everyone had a superb evening and left happy that the £15 ticket price was value for money and had gone to a great cause.
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