WITH the Birmingham Comedy Festival getting bigger and better every year, the Solihull News decided to check out what was on offer.
First up was an all-male sketch troupe The Lovely Men, featuring Dan Smith, Andy Richardson, James Cook and Jonathan Lee, at the Birmingham Mac last Friday.
With a back-to-basics, fairly amateur feel, the sketches combined pure silliness and audience participation to raise a chuckle or two.
There were some truly inspired moments, such as the first date sketch between imagined Mr Men characters Mr Angry and Mr Nervous and a rousing cockney market traders sing-a-long, but sadly many of the routines seemed to miss their mark or lacked a punchline altogether.
Lovely Men they may be, but the show was simply average.
However, the Birmingham Comedy Wrap Party at Roadhouse, in Stirchley on Sunday, was anything but disappointing.
Featuring stand-ups, bands, comic singers, burlesque and more, the day felt like a mini festival in itself.
Comedian Hannah Silvester gave the stand-out performance of the event, with some hilarious stand-up accompanied by her guitar.
Already a feature on the local comedy circuit, her short set deserved more time and I don’t think it will be long before she is a headliner.
‘Shouty’ comic Dave Pitt was also very funny and dealt with some particularly annoying hecklers very well while comedy folk band the Dirty Old Folkers had me tapping my feet, clicking my fingers and laughing along with their on-stage antics and clever lyrics.
Many of the burlesque acts combined comedy with their performance, such as Ginger Cupcake’s How to Do Burlesque routine or Ursula Dares’ slightly disturbing tribute to Jarvis Cocker, while others such as Khandie Khisses went for pure energy and smouldering sex appeal.
Compered by the excellent Jacques Bruxelles, there wasn’t a single act at the Wrap Party which let the day down, no small feat. I could imagine no better end to the festival.