Upfront Comedy Club – Review – Piece Hall, Halifax
By @Steve Crabtree, December 2017
The Piece Hall in Halifax recently reopened after a refurbishment thought to be between £19 million and £26 million pounds. What should always have been the crown jewel of the town is now becoming a place that’s showered with love and attention – and one of the many events planned in to the calendar is the Upfront Comedy Club.
The setting is the fantastic Spiegeltent. A round ‘mirror tent’ from the Netherlands measuring 20 meters in diameter. Inside it’s decorated with mirrors, glass and velvet… it adds to the Christmas feeling that’s creeping up on us.
The first comedian of three tonight is Mick Ferry, known for his part on Michael McIntrye‘s Comedy Roadshow. The northern wit of Ferry is very much welcomed here in Halifax, as he compares the town to his hometown of Oldham.
He’s sarcastic, often in slightly bad taste, and very self-deprecative. He’s a big bloke and he’s not afraid to laugh at himself. He gives us an act worthy of a headliner.
“Keeps the energy going”
The compere is comedian turned Teletubby, John Simmit. Known to millions as Dipsy, he keeps the energy going between acts. After telling us some great stories throughout, he introduces us to Judi Love from from Channel 4’s Drunk History and ITV’s Pranksterz.
Love is all about women, what women do and how they do it, and how they take the lead. Her act is quite self deprecating too, but her animated style and sharp wit has the audience in hysterics. Her story about a former lightweight-lover who’s no longer with us as a result of some over-exuberant bedroom antics is one that keeps the crowd chuckling.
“True improv skill”
And the headliner tonight is the Brixton comedy king, Curtis Walker.
Walker’s act begins with a friendly heckler cutting in within seconds – and Walker shows his expertise by working the heckle in to his act and showing some true improv skill.
Walker, of Paramount City, Kerching!, The Real McCoy and Blouse and Skirt fame, is a storyteller. His jokes stem from his life-experience, his family, and growing old.
It’s obvious why he’s big on the black comedy circuit, but his pace is a tad slower than the previous acts. And the guy has a lot of material! I’m enjoying Curtis Walker, but I feel that the momentum of the evening has been affected a little. The hour long set is perhaps fifteen minutes or so too long. I feel I’d have enjoyed it a lot more had it have been a bit more condensed.
The Upfront Comedy Club has been a chilly and fun evening. It’s a credit to the Piece Hall that they’ve thrown events on like this, and it’s a treat that the people of Calderdale will love getting used to.