The Comedy Store – Live Review – Piece Hall, Halifax

The Comedy Store Paul Tonkinson

By Steve Crabtree, December 2021

Christmas is fast approaching, and the Piece Hall’s festive programme is now in full swing. And my other half and I were lucky enough to head down to one of the greatest places in England to see the first of two Comedy Store shows of the season.

I’d been to a few events in the Spiegeltent here in the past. I’d seen Gary Delaney, Justin Moorhouse, and DJ Graeme Park, and the place was so nicely set up. This year it’s no different. And tonight, we were about to watch three great comedians, and a compere who kept popping up to very much give us a fourth.

The Comedy Store maffbrown

“In hysterics”

Heading the bill tonight for The Comedy Store was Paul Tonkinson.  You’ll remember him from The Big Breakfast and a few other 90s shows of a similar sort of ilk. I actually saw him in Halifax a few months ago at the Victoria Theatre and tonight, he was still as stellar. He told us jokes and stories about his family, his kids, and how he might not have behaved with certain substances back in the day. Like before, his set was great and although some of his topics crossed over with his previous show, it was different as the jokes were fresh. You probably didn’t want to hear about the dog* (*…you did!) And one thing you’ll always get with Tonkinson is his ability to strangely contort his face and emphasise what he’s telling you. A sure-fire way to get you in hysterics.

Eleanor Tiernan was our second act of the evening. She leapt on to the stage grabbed the laughs straight away. A seasoned stand-up with regular appearances on radio, she’s been in TV shows such as Moone Boy on Sky and written for many shows including Buffering. She talked about dating, and occasionally about lady parts. And from time to time she acted-out the part of a tad un-hinged woman. Her act seemed to go pretty quickly, and the pinnacle of her set had to be the the catwalk!

The Comedy Store Tez-ilyas 2


The acts were on form, and the audience were laughing and loving every comedian, and every joke. Throughout the show, couple Daniel and Danielle in the front row provided the comedians with a bit of ad-hoc name-based material. And each of the acts dealt with the few drunk guys also on the front row really well. They weren’t heckling, they were having fun and getting involved. And they were taking the comedians comebacks well too.

In-between the main-acts, Maff Brown delivered some fast paced stuff. Modern-day PC was shifted to the side slightly and, by his own admission, he gave us some great jokes.

But the absolute thief of tonight’s show was Tez Ilyas.  Everyone made us laugh and ensured we had a funny, memorable night – but Ilyas was hilarious. First on, which I guess is never the easiest slot, he came at us with an abundance of visual humour, as well as clever and occasional daft funnies. He profiled Christmas, and pointed out his not-so-Christmas Christmas jumper.  He also taught us a thing or two about the ‘12 Days of Christmas’, alongside a humorous insight into religion.  I hadn’t seen Tea Ilyas before, but the tent loved him and I’ll be looking out for his stuff from now on.

The Comedy Store Eleanor Tiernan

“Barely a spare seat”

The Comedy Store show was great. As they usually do, The Piece Hall had given the Calderdale public a really good couple of hours for a Thursday night. And with barely a spare seat in the Spiegeltent, lots of us had lots of laughs.

It was a fun, good spirited kind of night in the lead up to Christmas, in a great venue.  And if you’re lucky enough to have a ticket for The Comedy Store on 23rd December you’ll be in for an absolute treat.


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