Best of ‘Ull – Live Review – Hull Bonus Arena

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By Kirsty Reid, November 2019

Though I only live 30 miles from the City of Culture, I’ve only recently discovered it hosts an annual comedy festival. Now it’s in 12th year, Hull Comedy Festival takes over the entire city with household names, local funnymen and Edinburgh Fringe favourites.

Keen to see what all the fuss is about, my dad and I decided to visit on the festival’s launch day and secured tickets for the Best of ‘Ull. Needless to say, the aptly named show did not disappoint.

It was Dad’s first time visiting Bonus Arena and he was pleasantly surprised. Modern and spacious, what better place is there to showcase the cream of the crop?

“Clearly a hit”

MC Jed Salisbury got the show off to a great start. His warming charm and innate sense of humour soon had the crowd in fits of laughter.

After testing the water with a few lighthearted anecdotes, Salisbury shared tales from his recent TV appearance (Who Are You Calling Fat?), poking at fat activism. It’s a shame the jolly comedian didn’t have more stage time as he was clearly a hit with the room.

Self-deprecating David Smith was refreshingly down to earth as he relived tales from his childhood, from eating chips seven nights a week to sharing bath water with more family members than you can count on one hand.

His best gags, though, were on how married life has given him a stiff neck. From fluffy towels he shouldn’t use to candles he can’t light – Smith admits he’s in the dog house more times than most.

“United in the pursuit of laughter”

After nonchalantly stepping on to the stage, Patrick Draper launched into a series of rambling rants. Setting the tone with an irate poem about the snails on his driveway, Draper’s deadpan jokes and visual gags were brilliant.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first saw Kelli! Taylor, but it wasn’t long before her narcissistic persona had me, and the rest of the room, in stitches. The ‘physic hairdresser’ poked fun at faces in the crowd as she brought her salon gossip to the stage.

Headlining the night were the Live Naked Idiots, a four man sketch group united in the pursuit of laughter. With songs, one-liners and copious amounts of infantile filth, the group got a fair few laughs, though some of the topics were a step too far for my liking.

The Best of ‘Ull was a great way to kick-off Hull’s Comedy Festival. I’m excited to see what else it has to offer.


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