October 24th, 2016

Barrel of laughs at the Leamington Comedy Festival

Barrel of laughs at the Leamington Comedy Festival Barrel of laughs at the Leamington Comedy Festival

A LAUGH a minute it certainly was at the Leamington Comedy Festival.

The eight-day festival, now in its fifth year, welcomed big names such as Russell Kane, Mark Watson and Henning Wehn to the town.

And on its final night, Canadian comedienne Katherine Ryan closed the show at the Royal Spa Centre.

As a fan of the all-round funny girl, she did not disappoint.

Most of her show was about her being the female equivalent of an eligible bachelor and her forays back into the world of dating after a split with her boyfriend.

She explained more about living in London – where she moved to ten years ago from her hometown in Canada.

Particularly funny was her explanation of showing her parents her home, ‘the most expensive in my family but at the same time the smallest’.

She also had the audience in stitches when she said Cheryl Cole had done more damage to the north than Margaret Thatcher.

Katherine Ryan confesses she does not bond well with the audience, but she doesn’t need to. Her life stories and stage presence are enough to ensure we hung onto her every word.

She was part of a bill including Keith Farnan, Patrick Monahan, Lloyd Griffith and Howard Read.

Patrick Monagan was a personal favourite and surprise star of the show.

Picking on one member of the audience as the poor man went to the toilet, he even unsuccessfully encouraged those on his row to crowd surf him back to his seat.

He had women shouting out the prices of their eyelashes and said they think men choose women because of the size of their nails ‘I like that one over there with nails like daggers’.

The half-Irish, half-Iranian born comedian exudes confidence on stage and his observational jokes flow freely as he talks with the audience.

Keith Farnan made jokes about his hair and looking like Jesus. He says Easter is his favourite time of year as he visits churches across the country telling the congregation ‘I have returned’.

His jokes were funny but I did find them too rehearsed with less audience interaction than the other comedians on the bill.

Lloyd Griffith’s stint was highlighted with impressions of different types of tape – literally sellotape and duct tape.

He also had the audience shouting out different cathedral names to prove he know a fact about each one due to his other job as a choir boy.

Although funny to begin with he lost me after carrying on with the joke for a good five minutes.

Howard Read kept the audience entertained with a song about putting his children to bed which was one of the highlights of the night.

He also seamlessly introduced each act and ensured the audience was already in giggles before they came out.

The comedy festival is always a hit in the Leamington calendar, and after another successful year I look forward to seeing them back with an equally stellar line-up in 2017.