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Review: Simon Bligh, John Ryan & Andy Fury - The Corner House, Newcastle. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Andrew Dipper   
05 06 2010
ImageRelying on a friend's directions to get to a place I need to be is something I've never been comfortable with. With three of us sitting in the car, myself in the passenger seat, and the man with the map in the back, I was certain we'd end up in Scotland by the end of the night -I just presumed his sense of direction was as poor as mine. Thankfully, however, we arrived early for The Grinning Idiot comedy in Heaton. The event felt low key, and the atmosphere reflected that as The Corner House regular MC John Smith introduced Simon Bligh to the stage.

Bligh's routine was assured and energetic, perhaps symptomatic of twenty years' experience doing the comedy circuit. He knew what he was doing, and, like headliner John Ryan, played to an older audience, with his routines focusing on familial experience rather than the clichéd, social observations of a typical modern day comedian. Indeed his time as a father was the keystone of his tales, as he joked about meeting his daughter's boyfriends, how growing old corrupts a man's sex life - all underpinned by an entertaining faux homosexuality. As his time on stage came to a close, Bligh admitted that ‘opening a show is always a challenge, and it is one which [the audience] won'. Unfortunately, I agree.

ImageHowever middle act Andy Fury, a late addition to the line-up, quite frankly stole the show. The 27 year old local was the freshest act on the bill, and, unlike Bligh and Ryan who distanced themselves from the audience via age and regionality, Fury likened himself to the audience through gags about Greggs, owls, chatting up seventeen year olds, and hilarious self-depreciating insults about his appearance. He's amiable, genuinely entertaining, and his locality is undoubtedly the key to his on-stage success - Fury alone was worth the £10 entry fee. By the time MC John Smith re-appeared for the final time - noticeably absent of crisp-related complaints this week - the atmosphere inside The Corner House's cosy function room had warmed.

ImageHeadliner John Ryan's act, in part, imitated Bligh's - both acts were energetic, confident and commanding of their audience, though the crowd seemed more willing to respond during Ryan's time on stage, especially during his horrible imitation of a Geordie accent.  The veteran comic and regular writer was a fitting follow-up to Fury's middle-act, and his brand of Cockney humour on the closing leg of the night was a big hit with the almost sold out audience.

If you're looking to see some comedy at The Corner House, the next event is Friday 18th June, in which Adam Bloom and Craig Campbell will be performing. Tickets are available for all gigs from:


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