'King Gong' - it does exactly what it says on the tin. 30 comedians just starting out trying to break the comedy circle, with five minutes to impress. The audience are in control, which makes it a very entertaining and lively evening. Three red cards are handed out to audience members and if an act receives three red cards they are gonged off. If an act breaks 5 minutes they are through to the final where they perform again in what's known as the 'gag off'.
The night got off to a cracking start, hosted by MC Mick Ferry. He was as blunt and brutal as you'd expect and hope him to be and whipped the crowd up right away as vocal input was a little on the quiet side to start with! The first act used mainly one-liners which only secured him 1minute 15seconds, bad as they were, they were so bad they were funny.
From the first half I was really impressed with the diversity of the comedians. 71 year young Janet gave us a highly pretentious sexual insight to the world of 'dogging' which was hilarious and survived the Gong and secured her place in the final. There were a few very nervous inexperienced performers which is to be expected however some didn't last longer than 25 seconds and one guy was just highly intoxicated.
Half way through the first section the atmosphere got a little tense as a few audience members shouted out that the judging was 'too harsh'. Ferry very rightly said - the clue is in the title. King Gong and the rules have been the same for 30 years. I feel the judging has to be harsh, you can't give the act time to 'settle' because there isn't enough time - and if that was the case with 30acts the show would go on well past midnight.
Interval. Drinks. Pizza.
The 2nd half started badly for the comedians taking part. Act after act, gong after gong. Then came a super energetic young guy from Wales who was particularly good at playing off the audience, since one member shouted out that he had a haircuts like Myra Hindley. He was confident with his come backs to the hecklers pointing out it had taken them a minute and a half to come up with that. The sharp wittiness, confidence and comedic timing I feel is what sets apart a great act from an average one. The audience like to see how the comedians perform under pressure and on the spot.
Five acts made it into the 'final'. Which lead to a cheer-o-meter style voting system which left 3 acts to battle it out for the pound land crown. The overall winner from the evening was Michael Carter from Liverpool who won the crown, £50 and a space in the 'Best In Stand Up' main event show.
King Gong is an excellent night out with a wide variety of comedic deliveries. As guess you never know what to expect until you're there. The Comedy Store is a great venue with excellent staff and service and would recommend it as a great night out for all.
Reviewed on: 3rd April 2016
Reviewed by: Jane Hollingsworth