Review: Hot Potato Comedy Club, Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre
The Hot Potato Comedy Club at the Town Hall Theatre proved once again to be one of the best night outs in Hartlepool.
The popular monthly evening was well hosted by Mike Wilkinson, who had the audience nicely warmed up and enjoyed banter with the members of the crowd from the likes of South Africa and Spain. What a cosmopolitan crowd!
Opening act Gareth Richards came with a good pedigree having appeared on Russell Howard’s Good News, Live at the Electric and having performed live on Radio 1.
He has also co-hosted Frank Skinner’s Sony award-winning Absolute Radio show and supported Frank on his 2014 tour.
The Bournemouth comic made the mistake of asking a Hartlepool audience about the monkey hanging legend and seemed a little taken aback when an audience member shouted to him - ‘we’ve got enough rope for you’!
But the comedian came back, getting the audience laughing with his observations on vasectomy before serenading us with a song on his weird Q Chord instrument.
Next up was BBC New Comedy finalist Daniel Sofoluke who made some funny and wry observations on race built around his everyday experiences as a black man although in a seemingly short slot.
Headline act Jeff Innocent was voted Best Club Comedian of the Year in 2016 and on this performance it is easy to see why.
For one thing, like a Tommy Cooper, he simply just looks just funny - like a racist grandad straight out of a Guy Ritchie film - getting the audience laughing before he even says one word.
But Innocent is also a natural stand-up, commanding the room, delivering his strong gags with confidence and style and having the audience in the palm of his sov-ring fingered hand.
The cockney comedian had no problem translating to a Northern audience, the 63-year-old’s cultural comment on age, race and the north/south divide in the age of Brexit going down a storm.
Next night is on Saturday, May 26 with MC Paul Pirie, Darren Harriott and Andy Askins.
Don’t miss it !