Saving a few pennies is always a cause for celebration in London. When it comes to comedy or drama however, a common expectation is that what you pay for is what you get. So where does that leave Angel comedy club then?
Angel Comedy runs free stand-up seven nights a week from a function room above the Camden Head pub in Angel. The success of this comedian-run night prompted its organisers to crowd-fund the purchase of their very own pub a minute’s walk away. The team now split themselves between the old venue and their very own pub – the Bill Murray.
We decided to try out a Tuesday night at their old home above the Camden Head. Our host and compere was Hong Kong native Masud Milas. His confidence, international school US accent and ‘70s cop’ dress sense soon had the audience onside.
The show kicked off with Julian Dean, who was slightly uneven in his quips but had some genuinely brilliant moments. References to his relationship and children were definitely the highlight of his performance and his joke: “Me and my girlfriend aren’t ready for kids yet… They always get upset when they hear that” was a perfect example of comedic timing in his set. One of our favourite moments was when he said most parents have a favourite child and his was his daughter’s best friend Amy, as she was really funny.
Next we had Lezone who unfortunately let the show down. Using her weight as a source of comedy just didn’t seem to work, no matter how traditional a topic this may be for a comedian. The gags felt cheap and the only laughter that filled the room was an awkward titter of a nervous crowd watching a not-so-funny woman. Out of the whole show, she was the only real disappointment, however.
Mathew was the final part of the first segment and was our favourite. His first quip was about getting his mother an Uber from the station and followed the trope of him being a terrible son as he didn’t want to put himself out too much. We can all relate here in some way or another, so maybe the crowd-filled laughter was that knowingly reflected our own selfishness. His Northern Irish accent which made his storytelling an absolute delight to listen to.
“Me and my girlfriend aren’t ready for kids yet… They always get upset when they hear that” said Julian
Next in the second line-up was Ray, one of those awkward comedians who you’re kind of terrified of. For a genuine second I wondered if he was racist at first, but in actual fact he was quite the opposite and simply controversial in topic choice. Despite a shaky start, he soon got into the rhythm of his set and actually became quite funny when he undermined post-Brexit racists and racism in society.
Finally we had Barry, who was mostly underwhelming. Despite being the namesake of the show, Barry was the most middle-of-the-road out of all the comedians in our opinion. His references to British prudishness and his attempts to gain audience stats on who masturbates was both funny and painfully awkward – potentially confirmation that we were a terribly stuffy bunch.
All in all, the experience was a really enjoyable one. Despite the one Australian heckler who was nothing but rude and obnoxious, the audience was made up of happy, young people coming in from work or tourists who heard about the comedy club online. We would give the show: 4/ 5.
The Barry Fern and Friends show is every Tuesday at Camden Head 8 until 10.