I cannot think of a better way to start Comedy Fest than by watching Raw Meat Monday. Fringe bar is quiet, but supportive and caring as new and experimental acts take to the stage, and I love being a part of that.
Our first act of the evening is Ray O’Leary. He begins with funeral humour, and I love it. He is obviously quite nervous, but his monotonic jokes land well by being honest and endearing.
Our second act is Severin Gourley, a performer who Pete tells us has only been on stage three or four times before. This knowledge only increases my respect for his act, as he refers to pop culture and engages the crowd throughout. I especially appreciate his joke on Harry Potter, and I am aware that as one of the youngest members of the audience I am laughing louder and harder than anyone else.
Next we have Josh Kingsford, another relatively new performer who has only been on stage two times. If Pete had not told us this, I would have never been able to guess this. He is enigmatic, charismatic, and energetic. He is calm and his set is easy to follow while being very amusing.
Jade Gebby is traveller from the UK, and her conversational tone discussing British politics is refreshing and engaging. Her act is filled with moments we can all identify, and she fills the stage with energy.
Our second half seems to be filled with longer sets and more experienced comedians. The first performer is Belinda Davis, who is definitely a crowd favourite (and probably friend to most of the audience). It is her first time performing this kind of set, but we adore her. Her kazoo and xylophone are quaint and fun, and hardly needed as she sings without them. Her use of food-puns is absolutely incredible. I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard so many types of fruit referred to in one song. The audience is involved, and her rap is hilarious. However, it is her second song which has me laughing the most, entitled ‘Period Drama’. It is a positive yet honest portrayal of a woman’s relationship with her period, and it’s an absolute highlight of the night.
Next up we have Anya Rzhevitskaya. She is conversational, relaxed, and we follow her every word. She is described as our “Resident Russian Comedian” by Pete, and it’s great to see another international female comic hitting the stage. Although I wish her story wasn’t a one hating on other women, her set is well-formed and engaging.
Our final act for this evening is Nik Bruce-Smith. He has already performed in First Laughs, and his experience is apparent from the get-go. He has a high energy, and his set moves quickly without being racy. The beginning of his set is based around being in primary school in New Zealand, and the jokes land well. His last story is based on a break-up and the sexism of male commercials, and it definitely receives some of the louder laughs of the night.
Pete finishes the show by promoting the shows that the comics are involved in, and we end the night on a high as the lights fade up and we give all of our comedians a final applause.
Raw Meat Monday is on every Monday, and I would highly recommend popping along to support these emerging comics!
Other performances in the Comedy Fest that these comedians are involved in: