Come to The Bridge Bar every other Tuesday and you’ll find it filled with a lively crowd enjoying a night of jokes, stories, and occasionally, brutal audience banter at The Laughter Lounge.
For most people, watching from the sidelines is more than enough. But some of us need more than that to feed our comedy addiction. Some of us are so mad we decide we could actually do comedy!
Don’t worry, this can happen; usually sometime in November, when the Freshers sober up and start to wonder about the important things, like if there’s more to life than ‘seeing it off’ and making sure you’re not an ‘anti-lad’, whatever that means.
For all those students who fancy writing, performing and sharing comedy, as well as watching it, there is a huge range of opportunities here at Southampton thanks to The Comedy Society.
The society is increasingly popular and active this year, kicking things off with a successful four-day Freshers’ Tour, in which they performed three gigs at Montefiore, Highfield and Glen Eyre.
On one of the nights in question, a certain member and self-styled prima donna became so arrogantly convinced of his own rock-star status that he decided to smash a microphone. He will be cleaning Montefiore’s toilets for a month to pay for the damage, and has chosen to write this review to show he’s sorry.
But he digresses. The tour began in Glen-Eyre, where about 100 residents came to see the comedy stylings of four stand-ups. The crowd seemed to enjoy themselves, Tom Hunt receiving a standing ovation for his performance on the kazoo, a specialty of his that has mysteriously failed to gain him any groupies as of yet.
At the next gig, the society was joined by four professional comedians and provided a very entertaining evening to a busy bar. Rowan Smith’s nonsensical attempts at speaking French were very funny, and raised several good questions. “Why on earth are we taught to minutely and accurately describe the contents of a pencil case in French?”
The Highfield gig was in a room which Dali might have painted if you’d asked him to depict students. People cocooned in pyjamas and duvets were surreally draped over the ends of snooker tables and sofas. Freshers Flu had clearly struck, and I felt ever so slightly guilty about performing so loudly to ill people.
It was another successful performance, with the highlights being Duncan Parker’s ‘blacks’ joke (not as horrible as it sounds) and Nick Mould’s chat with a female audience member. His excuse that, “I’m not hitting on you, it’s just banter” wasn’t fooling anyone. It was a shame Tom Hunt had to mention the idea of him having sex: after that, it was far too late for anyone to not have nightmares. But you can’t win them all.
At the same time as the successful Freshers’ Week gigs, there’s been a lot of new interest in student comedy at our University. This year, society members will have access to comedy workshops, advice and up to six open mic nights a month where they will be able to try out jokes in front of small audiences.
The only way to see if you make people laugh is to try, and whether students want to perform a sophisticated ironic monologue on religion, or just crack gags about how thick Solent students are, Comedy Society is making it more possible than ever this year.