The second heat of the stand-up competition Tickled Pig saw a great set of acts, from experienced ‘almost-pros’ performers to people doing stand up for the very first time. It was also a great evening for some anti-Valentine’s humour.
Andrew McWhirter, winner in 2010, but also a primary school teacher who has a history with magic mushrooms was brilliant throughout. A nice little link between every Act and preparing the audience well at the start, you can’t really ask for much more. As for the competitors:
Xanthippe Waldron – opened up the show well, a good mix of clever and bitter humour (she really isn’t a fan of Valentine’s Day). Her delivery was somewhat monotone, but a very solid act.
Rowan Smith – did something a bit different, and it really worked. He began with a story about a potato and from that the audience was left to expect a Jack Dee-esque set. Quickly though Rowan changed things by doing some observational comedy on comedians and his entire stage persona changed in a snap. Interacting with the audience well he managed to juggle a lot into one set, it was well done.
Marco Mizdrak – a return to the anti-Valentine comedy, Marco had a natural delivery to his set, which got a good response from the audience. He was limited however as his stage presence was lacking (mostly looking down at the stage than out to the audience) and really you can only get away with telling stories for so long in a comedy set.
Emily Barnes – one of the less experienced acts, she had some genuinely funny moments on stage but her nerves limited her success. Promising signs though.
Andy Fields – began the second half of the competition and, deservedly, came out the winner. Brilliantly funny throughout, his stage presence was solid, delivery spot on and most importantly he was totally natural on stage. Very Noel-Fielding-like.
Robin Johnson – his first ever set and, given that, very well done. Apart from checking his notes quite often he managed to be energetic on stage, had the audience on-side and was the only act to really focus in on student life for his humour.
Jordan Gough – from a technical level, his set was well done. He had a strong stage presence, natural but his aggressive style humour didn’t sit well with the audience. Religion bashing humour wasn’t really in line with the tone of the evening and it seemed to fall flat.
Joe Hart – runner up of the evening. He had a fantastic stage presence and after the Compare was quite good at engaging the audience. Let down by a lack of preparation that would have helped to give him a little more of a natural feel, he nonetheless was very funny.
The next Tickled Pig heat will be on March 14th, make sure you’re there, there’s bound to be one act which you’ll be glad you saw.