REVIEW: Pretty Funny Comedy Club, Dukes Head, King's Lynn
East Anglian comedians had the somewhat tough task of making a Lynn crowd on a Wednesday night laugh.
Jenny Beake, from Dersingham and whose stage name is Hilarity Jen, has begun the Pretty Funny comedy clubs and held its second night with a free gig at the Dukes Head.
Ipswich MC Louie Green opened up by telling us of his divorce and soon engaged some audience participation strategies, by getting a member of the crowd to each clap, whoop and stomp.
With a fledgling event like this it's difficult to gauge what material the crowd would respond to, and Louie did ask permission if he could "go naughtier".
Beake has been described as a mix of Victoria Wood and Barbra Streisand and her musical comedy style ("Grade One piano," as she proudly says) is to adapt the lyrics to well-known songs.
Hence the first target was a Southern California-inspired Norwich trendy chain retailer – which she re-named "Bollisters" to avoid being sued – to the tune of The Eagles' Hotel California. Meanwhile, Bond theme Skyfall was changed to Trifle; and the most effective one, I felt, was a demolition of Sir Paul McCartney's former wife Heather Mills, set to the tune of Macca's Yesterday.
Jason Overman was definitely from the Tim Vine stand-up school of one-liners.
He got the desired response with a few groans at his puns, however the Norwich-based comic committed the cardinal comedy sin of laughing at his own jokes. I guess that was part of his act, but he appeared a little nervous and perhaps needed more projection to make his various play-on-words pay off.
Aaron Spalding was the youngest act on display and had a more confident delivery.
He had a nice line about how to describe his home town of Ipswich to those who didn't know it. He said Ipswich was between Colchester and 1973.
Headline act Martin Westgate tackled a heckler of sorts, well someone talking at the back, effectively.
He made efforts to 'work the room' and got more of a reaction from those nearer the front.
The crowd of around 30 gave generously in a collection for the Scotty's Little Soldiers charity.
Pretty Funny has more gigs lined up with an opening night at the Wash and Tope, Hunstanton on Friday, August 16; the Dukes Head again on Wednesday, October 2, and Saturday, October 19 at the Queen Victoria in Snettisham (entry £5).