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Review: Jason Cook, Caimh McDonnell, Parrot and John Scott - Sunderland Empire. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Andrew Dipper   
16 09 2010
ImageYou know that common cliché about two busses coming at once? Well, I feel a bit like that with Jason Cook. Having waited around six months to see his show at Edinburgh this past August, I'm now in a peculiar situation whereby I have procured tickets to see him another three times before Christmas. Very odd. Tonight's performance was one of three, as the Hebburn comic headlined the Laughter Live show at Sunderland Empire. Joining him on the bill was Parrot, Caimh McDonnell and MC John Scott, who recently won the The Sun's Take The Mic competition.

Scott was a very good host for the evening, combining some of his usual routines on his appearance and the euro with friendly banter with the crowd - and thankfully, like the other comics on the bill, he dealt with the family of twats in the front row very well. It's easy to see why Scott won the Take The Mic competition; he's a very talented and likeable act.

However, opening act Parrot seemed to divide the crowd with his intelligent - but at times long-winded-stories based largely around his wife. Parrot's material clearly has a lot of potential, but many of his punch lines felt flat and there was a lack of momentum to his set, perhaps down to an audience unwilling to buy into his material.  
Irish comic Caimh McDonnell combined his tried and tested material with some less successful newer routines in the middle section of the evening. McDonnell brought some energy into the room following Parrot's more thoughtful approach, and it was refreshing to see an Irish comic with such a wealth of high quality content rather than relying on that inherently funny Irish accent of his. McDonnell was compellingly funny and a very good middle act - I probably could have listened to him all night.

Having seen headliner Jason Cook's show The End (Part 1) at this year's Edinburgh Fringe, my expectations of the Hebburn comic were admittedly very high. However Cook proved tonight that he can perform with such effervescence on a regular basis with a fantastic display of quick witted, playful comedy at Laughter Live.

His familial tales in particular are so incredibly well told they evoke an almost everyman quality about Cook that makes him an extremely endearing comic - and his brilliant off the cuff remarks to the disruptive audience member at the front of the crowd were a joy to behold, too. Jason Cook is simply a must-see comedian - though I probably would say that, wouldn't I?

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