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Guide2Bath reviews the opening night of Bath Comedy Festival

03 April 2012


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Bath Comedy Festival got off to a cracking start this year, and if the opening night at Widcombe Social Club was anything to go by, there will be a lot more laughs to come.

Jared Hardy was compering the evening’s entertainment. His comedy is of a gently surreal fish out of water nature, and while I’ve seen this Taunton lad find favour with a student crowd in Bristol, the predominantly middle aged audience in Bath didn’t really seem to connect with him on this occasion.

Alan Francis, on the other hand, had much more common ground with this crowd...and opening a set with tales of elasticated waistbands was guaranteed to find laughs of agreement. As his set developed though it was clear that Francis is a comic who has some real bile and bite to back up the softer laughs.
 
He prepared the way for another change in direction, as Widcombe Social Club was drawn into the mysterious world of Clovis Von Darkhelm, a traveller, adventurer, and master of the exotic occult. Von Darkhelm is a wonderfully realised character from the mind of Mike Hayley, and his comic take on Lovecraftian mythos was superb.

The main show of the night was provided by Mik Artistik’s Ego Trip, a Northern poet who uses the medium of modern comic song to devastatingly catchy effect. Mik and his band wove a captivating spell around this Bath audience, and for an hour we could have been transported from the genteel streets of Widcombe to a worky in Leeds.

Mik’s tales of dating women who look like his mam, spiritual Northern leaves and cancer to a calypso beat were simply brilliant, and the audience lapped up the rhythms of the three man Artistik Ego Trip experience. A triumphant gig by Mik, and if he makes another rare trip to Bath, do whatever you can to get hold of a ticket.

Bath Comedy Festival runs until 09 April, don’t forget to visit their website at www.bathcomedy.com to catch up with the latest gig news.

Rudy Millard

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