Hosted by: Peter Bazely
Reviewer: Simon Topping
The audience are left none the wiser as to what women want on this male only stand up bill of varying quality.
In this characterful venue housing mid twentieth century furniture, jazzy wallpaper and a life size model of an Edwardian gentleman, Peter Bazely is our shambling, loveable and self deprecating guide. Sadly the female half of the comedy show (Kimberley Datnow) cannot be with us as she has taken some work abroad. Bazely makes the funny observation that what women want is “To take paid work in Dubai.” It breaks the tension in the room and raises plenty of laughter.
Sadly the opportunity to replace Datnow with another woman in the piece is not taken and tonight’s bill is populated with four men; the thin veneer of the theme is quickly abandoned.
The first guest is Ed Mulvey who starts off strong with some nice improvised material, but quickly loses his way with a series of incomplete ideas delivered in a muddled way. He briefly draws the crowd back in with a good section about his unusual sexual roleplay with his girlfriend, which involves discussions about the gender pay gap, but seems to lose confidence in his set and finishes rather abruptly.
Joseph Murphy does not instil confidence either. His girlfriend, who is also a comedian, wouldn’t come and do this gig, which speaks volumes. He has prepared his material on the train on the way to the show, which is rather insulting to the audience. He reads out a list from the Cosmopolitan magazine about what women want from a man. Some items on the list are funny and bizarre, which make the room laugh along, but Murphy’s material is lazily put together, often misfiring and out of step with the room. His suggestive conclusion to “What women want” is predictable and unfunny, leaving the crowd cold; you can feel the tension in the atmosphere.
Thankfully Bazely rallies well. He roams the space like a low energy Stewart Lee, he’s interesting to watch and keeps the crowd entertained with his self referential material and low key subversive songs.
Adam Greene is a likeable performer too. He has some good throw away lines about the modern James Bond films and a very funny piece about how poorly he manages his money. His confident and well honed, yet laid back, delivery style is greeted well by those in attendance and lifts the afternoon show out of the doldrums, created by the previous guests.
The gig has a few good flourishes to it and some laughter too but all in all feels under prepared, under rehearsed and confused in places.
In the end the crowd is left wondering how much better would this had been if it had been a two hander by Bazely (who is a charming host) and Datnow, and not, as has transpired, a completely male perspective on the topic, completely abandoned by some acts and crassly handled by others.
Reviewed On 5th June