Laughing Cows Comedy has been promoting female stand-up acts across the country since 1998, and in that time has hosted a wide array of top-notch talents, including Jo Brand, Shappi Khorshandi, Isy Suttie and Jo Caulfield.
This gig is no exception, of course, with the Tuesday evening venue packed with festive revellers eager to see Def Comedy Jam alumnus and Mock the Week regular Gina Yashere, the woman once described by the Guardian as “one of the funniest comics in the world”, along with a full supporting line-up of funny women.
Resident MC Kerry Leigh’s naughty, cheeky brand of humour left the crowd with no doubts as to the character of the night ahead – befriending the audience in her own way, identifying and teasing couples and breaking down barriers of shyness.
First on the bill was the loud, brash, and impossible-to-ignore Annette Fagon, who seemed to embody the perfect warm-up act for this audience. Separating the room into twelve groups and having them sing the “Twelve Days of Sexual Christmas” injected a huge amount of energy into the audience, and while I initially feared that giving almost her entire set over to having the audience sing a bawdy song would get stale fast, it turned out to be a highly entertaining experience. My main gripe here is that it wasn’t exactly funny, with much of the entertainment value coming from the audience – but a well-placed opening act all the same.
Second up was Hayley Ellis, who while still entertaining, her storytelling, observational style was something of an about-face after the rowdy madness of the previous act. Plenty of audience interaction, skilled ad-libbing and an engaging personality, however, ensured a happy audience.
Next was the turn of Kate McCabe. I’ve seen this energetic American a couple of times now – specialising in a cheery, and sometimes slightly bizarre, observation of cultural differences, it’s very difficult to not be swept up by her joyous delivery and end up feeling that the UK you thought you know so well is actually that little bit stranger, but that little bit happier too.
Finally, the star name appeared, to an explosion of applause. Gina Yashere has grown her fanbase with her numerous television appearances, and it really shows in the attendance of this weekday gig – I rarely see the upstairs seating areas at the Frog and Bucket open outside of the weekend, but here it was not only open, but full!
Yashere’s broad-base of comic topics, taking in everything from politics to TV personalities, via her own personal stories and experience (and even poking fun at her own name!) was enthusiastically met – and between bouts of laughter an almost reverential silence. This lady really knows her audience, and on this damp, Tuesday evening, she couldn’t have been more on the ball!
Laughing Cows is an all-female comedy promoter which operates across the UK. It also has a regular comedy night at Manchester’s Frog and Bucket comedy club, on the last Sunday of each month. For information, see www.laughingcowscomedy.co.uk.
Originally posted on CrispyComedyCuts.com