Backyard Comedy Club, Bethnal Green, London, 07/07/2019.
Dope Comedy is a monthly comedy night held at the Backyard Comedy Club which features a selection of the best Australian comedians around, in front of a mostly Australian audience. Don’t worry if you’re not from Australia however, though there’s the occasional reference that went over my head most of it is explained – for instance I found out that Australian’s call playground slides “Slippery Dips” which is something I think we should adopt this very second – and judging by tonight’s gig it’s a pretty damn special night with all of the comedians clearly enjoying performing there an enormous amount.
It’s hosted by Daniel Muggleton, and he was the only comedian I was previously aware of as I reviewed his superb stand up special “Let’s Never Hang Out” back in February, describing it as “An absorbing and entertaining set which has a lot of killer lines”, and if anything he was even better tonight, having the best joke of the evening which involves the phrase “Bus Ugly”. His crowd work is also strong with him showing a genuine interest in the audience members he chatted to, with him being self-effacing unlike far too many mc’s, though his material about Prince Charles, Princess Diana and Camilla was even better, and he kept the night flowing with impressive ease.
After Daniel had more than warmed the crowd up the first act was Thomas Green, who like all of the comedians tonight impressed an awful lot, with a couple of jokes about his time as a school teacher being truly strong, though I have to confess to being glad he’s no longer such a thing given his descriptions of his students. They made me laugh hard however, as did a great routine about how he finds his girlfriend’s hairs in the most unlikely of places, sometimes weeks after he’s seen her if he’s on the road, and he generated a lot of laughter over his love for the UK, if only because of the lack of things that try to kill him, which had the room laughing a great deal.
After a brief break Brodi Snook took to the stage, starting her set off with a fantastic (and very convincing) bit about how carrying a clipboard around is the best deterrent to anyone who wants to avoid being attacked. After this she talked about her past in a small town in Australia which contained a lot of very funny jokes, the best being how when she was five she told people she had three boyfriends – Aladdin, her brother and her father – and which ends with an insight in to the unfortunate racism that sometimes exists in small town life. She also had some very likeable material about her ex-boyfriend and how she ended up lying about loving him as at the time they were in a cabin in the woods, and her jokes about online dating and how people should be allowed to leave reviews, and that she watches feminist porn for tips on assertiveness, were so hilarious that it made me want to seek out a full hour show from her.
One final break followed and then Grant Busé headlined the gig, and who opened his set by mock bragging that he was in Neighbours for four whole episodes back in 2011, and his comment that the way he looks means that it should have been Home and Away won me over immediately. He’s a musical comedian and his songs are extremely funny, the opening song about making a connection involves audience members in a very smart and satisfying way, and was made all the funnier by the fact that the person he singled out in the song happily sang her name and explained that she waxes women’s pubic hair for a living. He also has a really fun love song about being with someone who’s also cheap which has a fun narrative and amusingly references Tesco’s Meal Deals and Poundland, while a song about how like Tim Minchin he’s an Australian musical comedian contained a lot of very funny lines too. Best of all is the song that he closes the gig with though, a version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah which he’s reworded to attack those who soullessly cover it and ruin the song for anyone who loved it in the first place, which I loved a huge amount, and getting two people on the stage to (badly) sing the chorus was a fantastic way to end things too.
Given the nature of mixed bill nights there’s always a chance that one of the comedians (if not more) might not be your cup of tea so it’s impressive stuff indeed that all of the comics who performed tonight made me laugh throughout, and were of the kind of quality that I definitely plan to see full hour long shows by them. Dope Comedy is off to Edinburgh next month and not returning to October which is a huge shame as it’s a night I enjoyed a hell of a lot, and definitely plan to attend as often as I can in the future.