REVIEW: Corn Hall Comedy Club on tour

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Comperes are sometimes guilty of delivering their opening salvo on automatic pilot. Not so Russell Hicks, who gave a master class in how to riff off an audience.

Not only did the crowd forgive his merciless dissection of Diss’s provincial lifestyle, they lapped it up, as with affection and good humour he held a mirror to the absurdities of small town England.

Self-confessed John the Baptist impersonator Alasdair Beckett-King is a true original.

Despite leaning on tried and tested material, he develops ideas in such a distinctive, clever way that his inventive set constantly surprises, managing to be both thought provoking and silly.

Luke Toulson deftly gained the empathy of every parent in the room with his polished examination of bringing up his teenage kids, before delivering the sucker punch of his estrangement.

It was one of the many miseries he extracted from the simplest of pleasures, all of which were subject to his misanthropic gaze, in a finely crafted routine that was as sharp as it was funny.

DAVID VASS