REVIEW: Comedy Night, Diss Corn Hall

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More host than compere, Lewis Schaffer opened the Corn Hall comedy night as he meant to go on, with a self-loathing, nihilistic routine that was both daring and hilarious.

His curious mix of avuncular charm and scabrous taboo busting marks him out a true original - a fabulously assured compere who is as fearless as he is funny.

With his lugubrious northern twang, Ian Curtis followed – like a petulant man child blessed with a precise and inventive mind. His analysis of search engines was reminiscent of the heady days of Jasper Carrot, while his flight of fancy over aggressive carbonation was inspired.

Headliner Dave Johns’s shambolic, discursive style perfectly suited a comedy night at ease with itself, and though his extended skit on Goldfinger was as funny as his singing voice was painful, he was at his best when wandering off message, content to see where it goes before pulling it back like the old pro he is.

As we left, there was Schaffer again, shaking the hand of everyone and thanking them for coming.

DAVID VASS