Laughs All Round: On the Pebbles Festival Stand-Up Reviewed

Cassi reviews one of the most anticipated events of On the Pebbles, a stand-up show put on by Comedy Society.

As part of the much-loved On the Pebbles festival, the St Andrews Comedy Society ran a side-splitting stand-up event in the casual setting of Sandy’s Bar last Sunday. With near 10 routines, each unique and hilarious in their own way, the stand-up was well worth the £3 entry, and had the entire crowd roaring with unrestrained laughter.

Despite arriving reasonably early, the venue was already packed to the brim, just barely offering enough seats for the number of guests. Yet, the crowded bar only emphasised the enthusiasm the audience had for the show. With no stage to separate the audience and the comedians, the night was characterised by a nonchalant, intimate atmosphere, as the performers worked only with the microphone and their wit. From the very words said by the host of the night, Andrew Martin, the energy of the crowd was apparent, as they cheered as soon as the show began. The audience was immediately engaged by Andrew, as he playfully mucked around and teased a few audience members who unluckily sat at the front, with several jokes about his Mo-vember moustache.

The first act that was soon introduced was that of Harrison Rice, who was clearly very at home in front of the audience. With his relaxed manner, he quickly established a warm and close relationship between himself and the audience. Unfortunately, the set was over too soon, but his performance proved to be a fantastic way to set off the sets of the night. The second performer, Sasha Gisborne was radically different to Harrison, with his dramatic entrance onto the stage. Despite his choice not to use the microphone, Sasha had a formidable presence, and was not afraid to venture into the more controversial topics, poking fun at issues like abortion.

It was clear from Sasha’s performance and his banter with his fellow comedians of the strong relationships between the different members of the Comedy Society, emphasised with the subsequent set by Aoife McAtamney, who mocked the whirlwind of Sasha’s performance. Aoife brought a fresh feeling to the night, as her set was obviously new, as she spoke about her very recent graduation. Her performance was entirely unique in terms of content in comparison to the other sets of the night, with her whole set centred around on her hilarious but slightly strange experiences on the app Fiverr.

One of the highlights of the first act was the set by Adam Bumstead. Whilst starting with a classic opening, “So, I’ve been going on a few dates recently…”, he preceded to continually upturn what was expected, offering very sophisticated humour despite his quieter energy. Kicking off the second act was Joe Mendenhall, the sketch representative. Whilst similarly embodying a quieter, perhaps even nervous energy, Joe skillfully wielded this shyness into his comedic persona through his series of small jokes with killer punchlines. Despite his dipping into hilarious topics like the nine lives of cats, to Kanye West, to wheelchairs, Joe created a lot of laughs through his deliberate pauses, building humorous through rhyme and repetition before neatly tying up the several threads of his sert into one brilliant joke for his finale.

One of the concluding acts of the night featured the witty Sarah Clark, her confidence and charisma immediately evident from the get-go. Her performance was very candid, openly exploring more “nasty” topics, as she herself described. She likewise dabbled in repetition for comedic effect, such as ‘No-Nut November’. Following her was Paulo Flordia, only recently, as the host Andrew put it, ‘comedy de-virginised’, as this show was his second ever stand-up performance. Paulo mixed in a few different mediums to his act, as he introduced a little bit of karaoke that saw the rest of Sandy’s joining in, before moving on to a running joke involving a heavy Scottish accent.

The night was brought to a close with sets by Joseph Ickowski and ComSoc President Christoph. Joking about his experiences as a 2nd generation Italian-American, Joe’s set was fairly wholesome and child-friendly compared to the themes that coloured the previous performances. Once again, his set was a casual, intimate one that appealed to the audience through the reliability of family antics. On the other-hand, Christoph bought the night to an explosive end with a brilliant mockery of both millennial and generation z humour with a dramatic, loud performance.

All in all, the stand-up on Sunday was worth above and beyond the £3 entry. The wide-range of brilliant humour saw many audience members leave clutching their sides for air, but still excited for the next show. It cannot be recommended more highly for anyone keen for a casual night of laughs.

credit: On the Rocks

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