Creator: James Campbell
Reviewer: Ruth Gerrard
The Comedy Club 4 Kids is a break from the more traditional family shows often on offer at the Lowry. There is no referencing to the National Curriculum, not learning elements, but there are plenty of laughs. The last thing this show is, is twee. It is a proper stand up show for kids and seems to be largely appreciated.
Taking very much a traditional stand up format with a compare introducing both Acts, the audience soon take to MC Tiernan Douieb. He easy style and ability to engage with the children on their level without being patronising makes it an enjoyable experience for adults and children alike. Handling a rowdy front row comfortably and encouraging the children to join in and not make it like school, Douieb shows a flair for handling a difficult target audience.
The first act, Andrew O’Neill has less of a talent from coping with some of the older members of the audience who are not afraid to make their presence felt. Showing he is more used to adults and scope to use whatever language he deems fit, O’Neill entertains but never looks totally relaxed on stage. Entertaining the children with a few anecdotes, he does a reasonable job but there are a few fidgeting kids but the end of his set and one or two audible sighs.
Martin BigPig as the second act is more successful. Ignoring the disruptive members of the audience completely, BigPig has the audience eating out of the palm of his hand with ease. Some audience participation and a few simple props set the stage alight and results in some big belly laughs and chuckles from the adults. The six year old in our party was quoting him in the car all the way home.
This is a great concept and is enjoyable as a family rather than feeling it is solely about the children. A good option for those who have outgrown the more fairytale based shows but still providing an enjoyable family event. This is a good bridging event for those moving on from their first last of a theatre show to something a bit more grown up.