Last Monday, The Cube was once again glitzed and glammed up for the arrival of some of the biggest and best of modern comedy to grace the stage of the University’s resident film theatre-turned comedy spotlight. After last week’s ‘Audience with Sara Pascoe’, with its support idling all too close to stealing the show, this week’s instalment of comedic fresher brilliance had a hell of a lot to live up to – and triple the audience size to satisfy.
After 45 of sitting around, the stage lights flickered and flooded on and support act Jenny Collier sprinted onto the stage. Being relatively unknown and with a small handful of television appearances making up her comedy repertoire, hiring her as support for someone as widely known as Russell Kane made her both the perfect choice and a complete wild card.
And it was an equally similar ambiguity that defined her set, rocketing from half-hearted puns that reeked of tumblr-esque origin, to anecdotes enveloped with belly-laugh potential, in the space of her opening two minutes. It was a pattern that became somewhat familiar as her set-time ticked by, bad pun here, clever anecdote there, repeat. Whilst monotonous isn’t the right word to describe Jenny, she certainly didn’t make much more than a dent in the funny bones of her audience. “I’m always the first person to say ‘cunt’ at a wedding” she chimed during one of her better spurts, before diving into a 5 minute anecdote about the nature of farting which could have easily been four minutes and thirty seconds shorter, or, even better, not included at all. Still, she left the stage to a reasonable applause and some favouring smiles from an audience amply warmed up for “the guy you actually paid to see”, as our favourite Jenny put it.
Half an hour, several drink runs and a handful of toilet stops later, the interval ended, the music hit pause, and the benign chatter of the hundred-person audience fizzled out as the main act was introduced to the stage. Sprinting on to a thunderous applause to the intro of Foo Fighters’ ‘Learn to Fly’, Russell Kane dived headfirst into what would be a dynamically full-on, in-your-face-set with more belly-laughs than chuckles until the soundtrack to his set began to make itself known as only a string of constant convulsing howls to which he eagerly bounced off of. What a guy.
“Point one. Donald Trump: Cock” he declared once the applause had died down, beginning his set on an inarguably high – and accurate – note. After ten minutes of racing around the stage, berating the world’s politics without idling into unoriginal or cheap-trick territory, Russell bounced off his audience, making friends with an Italian guy and a German girl before apologising for the country’s nightmarish post-Brexit footing and moving into tales of sexual odysseys, both the awkward and the blatantly priceless. “Politics and shagging”, he summed his set up to be as he neared the end, “that’s all it ever comes down to if I’m honest.”
And as he raced off stage to the roaring whoops and cheers of an audience who would feel the pain of their now over-worked stomach muscles the next day, the lights drifted on, and the crowds began to meander out, not one without at least a slowly dissipating chuckle filling their eyes, face and Monday night with inarguably impressive comic relief. Bring on next year.