Christmas is over and instead of veg-ing on the couch with re-runs on Dave, 70 people ventured down to the Hogs Head to hear a night of comedy and laugh the winter blues away. The venue was hosting its first ever comedy night and the room was a great size with many extra chairs added to accommodate the larger than anticipated crowd.
PHIL ELLIS was a perfect host and got the evening off to a brilliant start. His genuine enthusiasm and character shone through as most of his set was ad-libbed through talking to the audience. “The Lager Elf” was a real highlight and although it was “8 ½ years ago”, he is not bothered! His rehearsed material was tight and well delivered and his frequency jaunts into the surreal created a brilliant buzz about the Hog.
First up was Paul McCaffrey, billed as “The star of Impractical Jokers and Russel Howard’s Good News.” Despite glowing reviews from Frank Skinner, Paul’s set began incredibly slowly and there was a real tension in the room as people shuffled awkwardly as gag after gag fell flat. He settled into his stride in the second half with “Hangover Margaret” and weight loss tips but the set ups were incredibly long and repetitive. Overall, a bit of a disappointment from this “star.”
Another great set up provided by MC Phil Ellis as Jenny Collier was welcomed to the stage. Her unmistakable charm and “Diet-Welsh” delivery exuded from her in a set that was quick-witted, engaging and undeniably humorous. The material was varied and at times surprisingly shocking, but all delivered impeccably building up the crowd with well-rehearsed comedic gems. Collier’s stage presence was fantastic and had me hooked, I have to admit I didn’t write too many notes during her set as I was so enthralled.
The final act of the evening was TROY HAWKE , one of the many faces of the fabulous Milo McCabe. Milo brands himself as a character comic and Troy is a quintessentially British aristocrat in the wrong decade with his luxurious kimono, cravat and sumptuous grasp of the English language. Hawke’s incredibly subtle but humorous expressions and mannerisms, combined with the slick wit and “fabulous sartorial decisions” made his set a real highlight of the show. His material was wide ranging offering his views on this modern day dystopia and I would certainly like to find out some more.
A well organise night of largely great material. A wonderful venue for this type of event and some brilliant go-and-see acts.
Reviewer: Dave Collins
Reviewed: 27th December 2016
North West End Rating: ★★★★
Phil Ellis: @Thephilellis
Paul McCaffrey: http://www.paulmccaffrey.com/ // @paulmccaffreys
Jenny Collier: http://www.jennycolliercomedy.com/ // @Jenjencollier
Troy Hawke (Milo McCabe) http://www.milomccabe.co.uk/ // @milocomedy
Hogs Head Brew House, Sowerby Bridge: https://www.facebook.com/hogsheadbrewhouse/