5 February 2018 at 1:01 pm
Guest Reviewer: Red Herring Comedy Club- The Lincoln Drill Hall, 03/02/18, 8pm
Review: Red Herring Comedy Club Night 3/2/18
Walking into The Drill Hall, I immediately received a warm welcome from the friendly box office staff. The foyer is lit beautifully by lanterns which drape from the ceiling, and a lighting rig is arched over the doorway; perfectly appropriate for a theatre environment. The comfortable leather sofas and the subtle background music created a pleasant atmosphere, an atmosphere that meant myself and other customers could relax and socialise freely. It is safe to say that the bar staff contributed to this also, as the bar maid who served me was both polite and sociable, which inevitably took the evening to a more personal level.
The foyer was furnished with creative elements such as quirky illustrative writing above the bar, which advertised the drinks available, and an acoustic guitar on the wall. Both of which were examples of artistic decisions that generated a contemporary, modernist setting, and contrasted nicely with the historical elements of the theatre, such as the large war memorial presented on the wall; a reminder of the original purpose that The Lincoln Drill Hall served. These attributes, along with a section of the foyer specifically designed for younger people which features an array of children’s toys, also made it obvious that this theatre makes a conscious effort to appeal to audiences of all ages.
The marketing within the theatre particularly attracted my attention. The walls were scattered with posters of upcoming events, and large prints of reputable artists who have visited The Drill Hall previously, advertising the wealth of talent across multiple disciplines that the theatre has to offer. Marketing for the evening’s entertainment ‘Red Herring Comedy Club’ was also very informative. Leaflets and sheets of information about the event were readily available on tables in the foyer, ideal for gaining an insight into what to expect over the course of the evening, about the structure of the event, and acts who are featuring in future Red Herring Comedy Club events.
The theatre itself was very spacious, and the seats very accessible, which is something to praise, as I find in a lot of theatres you can feel cramped and quite claustrophobic. The continuity of the background music and comfortable chairs into the theatre itself produced a consistency in atmosphere that was developed previously, subsequently providing perfect conditions for a spectator.
The structure of the show itself was comparable to that of ‘Live at The Apollo’; the host introduces a series of acts, whilst performing short sketches themselves in between. I can confidently say that the quality of each act was comparable to those who feature in this show also. Ian Boldsworth performed the role of the host with justice, breaking the barrier between the performer and the audience from the offset, and dealing confidently with a seemingly tough crowd to begin with. His demonstration of quick wit, good improvisation and ability to joke about himself are all assets that are essential for a stand-up comedian.
Each act demonstrated a clear understanding of the audience that they were performing to. Alistair Williams’ topics of both McDonalds and University culture seemed appropriate to satirise, considering the generally young audience, and Ian Boldsworth’s satirical focus on Lincoln itself was appropriate for obvious reasons. However, elevating the high standard of all acts throughout the evening, the final act Troy Hawk, was particularly commendable. His theatrical persona and ability to generate both laughter and suspense merely with facial expression are skills possessed by that of mime artists. A truly captivating and hilarious all-round performance.
As I left the theatre, I was presented with a leaflet of future events by Red Herring Comedy Club and was delighted to see how frequently this company return to The Drill Hall. It is an event that I wouldn’t hesitate to attend again and would recommend this experience to anybody looking for an evening of laughing until you shower the person sat in front of you with your wine. If comedy doesn’t appeal to you, then I would recommend a trip to The Lincoln Drill Hall nonetheless, as I can guarantee that they will accommodate to both your age and your interests.
By Kieran Scott