Review: Hot Potato Comedy Club - Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre

Rob Deering.
Rob Deering.

The ever-popular Hot Potato Comedy Club continues to go from strength to strength, with this month’s hilarious acts all easily capable of headlining the show in their own right.

Hosted by Hot Potato legend Matt Reed, the MC got the packed audience nicely warmed up with his banter and observations on learning English in Sunderland and the teaching profession, among others.

Fresh from bagging a stash of glowing reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe, it’s glaringly obvious that Ian Smith is going to be huge.

The comedian from Goole can best be described as a down-to-earth surrealist with his riffing on energy drinks, outwitting burglars with mannequins, and bumbags!

He has been described as “fantastically funny” and with “proper star quality” and the Hartlepool audience did well to catch him now before his inevitable jump to the big time.

Next up, hotly-tipped newcomer Tony Wright makes fun of the fact that with a name like that the audience may have been expecting an East End brickie rather than the flamboyantly-attired Asian dandy that appeared before them.

The middle spot of the evening is usually reserved for an up-and-coming comic, but with his wry observations, dry delivery and perfect comic timing, Wright could have been topping the bill in his own right.

Last on the evening, Rob Deering is one of the most in-demand headline comic acts in the country, and with his bubbling enthusiasm, easy charm and razor-sharp wit, it is easy to see why.

The 40-something is a survivor of turn-of-the 90s rave dance culture, and he uses his musical ability and technical prowess to lovingly unearth the comic absurdity inherent in ‘bangers’ from the era by the likes of The Prodigy.

He’s a truly wonderful stand-up who left the audience in stitches.

* The next Hot Potato night is on Saturday, November 25, with Damian Clark, George Lewis and Carl Jones joined by guest MC Jason Cook.

A Christmas special is set for Saturday, December 9, starring Barry Dodds as MC, Rich Wilson, Dan Nightingale and Simon Lomas.

Tickets for the November show are £7 in advance and £10 for standard entry.

The festive event is £12 for all tickets.

They can be booked via or the box office on (01429) 890 000.