Barnstormers Comedy Club – Live Review – Junction Goole
By Kirsty Reid, April 2022
The end of the month can only mean one thing for Goole – Barnstormers is back!
Originating in East Sussex, Barnstormers have been showcasing talent for more than 20 years – featuring the likes of Andy Parsons, Sarah Millican, Lucy Porter and Rob Rouse.
Each month, the comedy club takes over the small market town’s arts centre, Junction, to present a host of talent. Having visited several times before, I’m expecting an entertaining night as my dad and I take our seats in the auditorium.
“Did you mean Google?” compère Kevin Precious quips as he steps out on stage. “Good evening people of Goole. Do we have any first-timers here tonight?” he asks. The silent crowd speaks volumes – no Barnstormers virgins surely means everyone here has sampled the goods and is hungry for more.
MC Precious wastes no time interacting with the crowd. Those on the front row are, of course, prime targets for his banter (hence why we opted for seats at the back!).
Setting his sights on a table of six, he soon engages with the group and questions whether they’re in fact swingers. “I’ve made the mistake of talking with you before,” remarks one feisty woman, a teacher it transpires.
A former religious studies teacher himself, Precious is quick to mock her primary school role. “Don’t you just cut up potatoes for painting?”
Precious’ audience rapport is strong, and his humour has the crowd on his side. Though recapping what was discussed last time feels a bit like covering old ground. Fresh meat would likely mean fresh material.
“Plenty of swagger”
The entertainment continues with Alistair Barrie, who hits the ground running.
“F**k you, Vladimir Putin”, he declares as he struts into the room. “I’m a topical comedian. I take my inspiration from the news,” he elaborates. “Putin’s screwed that up.”
Going on to discuss how Boris Johnson “may not be the worst leader on the planet” after all, Barrie pokes fun at how the PM needed to “blow off steam” during the pandemic.
Rants about being furloughed, becoming a stay-at-home dad, and how Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy (a former comedian) is getting more standing ovations than Barrie himself, has the audiences in fits of laughter.
Next on stage is Danny Deegan, bringing his no-nonsense attitude and plenty of swagger into the mix.
Recounting his experience of life in lockdown, the affable comic quips: “Eighteen months without having to see my family was brilliant.”
Deegan is a master storyteller, captivating the audience before dropping a simple, yet witty punchline. “No matter what Boris said, I visited my nan every week, she’s 94…,” he begins, “…and her house is worth a fair bit.”
When a disgruntled audience member voices her dismay, the Mancunian motormouth is quick to assure her that a lot of what he says is “just a joke”.
Poking fun at the audience’s wild imagination, the pandemic and Covid testing, Deegan is a clear hit with the crowd.
As Danny Pensive – the duffel-coated, simple soul from Sunderland – John Cooper offers an interesting end to the night.
He begins with a song about goldfish, which perfectly prepares the audience for what’s in store – a blend of quirky anecdotes interwoven with song.
With a child-like innocence and deadpan delivery, Pensive shares his views on the world. Though at times a little too silly for my liking, a few of the character’s punchlines have me chuckling in my seat.
A fantastic way to spend a Saturday night, Barnstormers offers plenty of laughs. I’ll be at their next gig and I hope to see a few new faces in the crowd!
Barnstormers returns to Junction Goole on May 28
For more information, see www.barnstormerscomedy.com