Friday, 3 June 2011 INDEX

Guffaw? Well perhaps not...
Went to Guffaw at the Rose & Crown last night. It was unquestionably my worst ever night at a comedy club, and I've been to some stinkers over the years.

Yet you could say it was Walthamstow's finest and Susan Murray, probably the best compere I've seen and a local resident, was on sparkling form. So what went wrong?

Well firstly there was Paul McCaffrey, E17 resident and described as a fantastic rising star! He was dull but not all that bad. He had one or two flashes of adequacy (largely when he got off script and responded to noises from the road or whatever). His major concern seemed to be swans and truth be told swans do not figure in a big way in the dark regions of my soul. I do not need a comedian to salve the swan wounds or explore the swan issues for me, because, I don't have any swan issues.

Another guy followed. I can't remember his name.

Then there was Michael Kossew. Now MK could genuinely be a fantastic rising star. He has stage presence, an attractive manner and chutzpah. There are few comedians (successful or otherwise) of whom you could say these things. But his material, if material it could be called! People are often described as misogynist simply because they are disrespectful or chauvinist. Not this guy (or his persona). He really does appear to hate women and did not spare us the gynaecological details. Two women in the audience were moved to protest. One asked "why is this funny?" MK didn't seem to be able to explain. Lenny Bruce, you might say. But Lenny Bruce had an agenda. He was foul mouthed, rude and offensive but he was campaigning for freedom. If Michael Kossew is campaigning for freedom I'm not sure it's a freedom I really want. Maybe I'm getting old.

Topping the bill was Ian Cognito. I've heard about him before but never seen him. Of course, he's professional, but his cheerful cockney routine seemed odd in the Walthamstow Theatre Pub, the Rose & Crown. Is this what the punters who are prepared to pay £3.50 a pint really want? IC came out as Walthamstow born and bred. The climax of his act, for me anyway, was when he bled over my shirt. Don't think I can wear it again. Maybe I can sell it on Ebay?

A dreadful night and the Guffaw Comedy Club at the Rose & Crown, Hoe Street,Walthamstow, will be thanking its lucky stars that few people bothered to turn up to make up the audience.

Posted by Jonathan Brind at 04:37
Friday, 3 June 2011 INDEX