Set List – 2** - One4Review
one4review | On 08, Aug 2013
The concept behind Set List is “stand up without a net” in that comics are surprised by the topics that come up, and have to react and play with them. This should be fun for both the acts, and the audience, who often get to see the topic before the act does.
Host Troy Conrad explained the concept, but didn’t really MC at all, leaving the audience still cold for first act Benny Boot. Not that a warm audience might have made much difference, as he seemed to really struggle with the concept – big pauses, a few laughs, but the best line came from a heckle.
Tim FitzHigham did far better. He kept going well, got laughs despite some tricky topics, responded to the audience, and played along with the pretence of it being his own set list “So, here’s another topic dear to my heart…”
Yannis Pappas was very slick – he really gave the impression of using his own real set list, almost pretending the audience hadn’t seen it. This is much more of what “Set List” can be, at its best; the audience seeing the cogs turning, but only just. I suspect Pappas is a comic well worth seeing, if his improv skills are anything to go by.
Graham Clark opened his set well, as a Set List first timer, and closed with laughs. In between, he seemed worried, although the tech playing with him on the list did add to the humour.
Finally, headliner Mitch Benn did what he does so well – comedy songs, one man and his guitar, as heard on The Now Show. As a regular topical writer, Benn usually makes up songs fast, but this was, of course, super fast. It was done well, funny and silly, but each felt a little short, and nothing to write home about.
Overall, the lack of MCing left this gig feeling vaguer and less cohesive than it needed to, and that in itself might have given the acts more chance to get the feel of the room, and hit the ground running.
To 24th Aug, not Sun or Mon. 23:00
Reviewed by Gill