Quantum Leopard, 2Northdown, King’s Cross, London, 02/11/2019.
Quantum Leopard’s a regular night held at 2Northdown in King’s Cross that I’m all rather fond of even though so far I’ve only attended it twice. The first time was back in September where Joseph Morpurgo delivered an astonishingly stunning stand up set, and though not quite as good this most recent night was an impressively strong one too, and given that Morpurgo’s my favourite comedian in the world right now that is a compliment in disguise, I swear.
It’s run and hosted by James Ross who’s a great MC, indeed I’d suggest he’s easily one of the best in the country as he pretty much just does really strong material and there’s no audience interaction. Which is a major aspect of the gig as beforehand Ross gives out stickers so that anyone who doesn’t want to be spoken to by the comics can wear one, personally I’m an attention whore so don’t mind being picked on but it’s a great idea and allows anyone who hates that aspect of stand up to have a relaxed and enjoyable evening.
After Ross delivered some really funny jokes about his son (with a comparison to a military dictator making me laugh a lot), Tom Ward was then the first comic of the night. A comedian I know well and like a great deal, tonight was the best I’ve ever seen him perform as he rattled through twenty minutes of material only stopping to let the audience laugh hard on a regular basis. A new aspect to his stand up (at least to me) is the involvement of some musical moments, including a track about his landlady and one where he proves that you can put anything to 90’s dance music and it’ll still sound cool, and given how funny this aspect was I hope it’s something he explores further in the future.
Following Tom were five open mic comedians who were all vying to win a ten minute spot at a future Quantum Leopard gig, as they were newcomers it’d be unfair to judge them in too much depth but all did well, and Jem Braithewaite deserves a special mention as he’s endearingly (and intentionally) weird, he’s not quite there yet but I really liked the direction he’s taking. Then after a break Richard Todd did a set which also impressed a great deal, discussing his appearance and how local kids react to it, it’s perhaps nothing groundbreaking but it was consistently funny, which is of course the main thing, and he has a real talent for taking mundane incidents and making them delightfully quirky.
Delightfully quirky is also a way you can describe Lucy Hopkins, who came to the stage covered in gold paint and wearing a gold dress and then didn’t say a great deal for the rest of her performance. An absurdist and avant-garde set, which is often my cup of tea and then some, she did make me laugh a few times with the ending being particularly strong, but it’s such an unusual act that I have a feeling it didn’t quite suit a mixed bill and would have worked much better in the context of her full length show.
Finally Rosie Jones headlined, which was the main reason I came to the night after she was recommended to me by a friend who saw her recent Edinburgh show. He claimed that she was the best thing that he saw at the festival but I wasn’t quite as enamoured by her, Jones is definitely a good comedian and very likeable indeed, but her material isn’t that particularly innovative. Her set’s based around the fact that she has cerebral palsy and she does come up with some fantastic gags about her life and how others treat her (with a quip relating to babysitting being a extremely amusing one), but it’s similar to that of other comedians I’ve seen with the condition and so though it made me laugh a lot, it wasn’t a set that I fell in love with. She certainly shows a lot of potential though, and it was a mixed bill where comics often do their most mainstream material and so perhaps she’s more varied when doing a full length show, and despite my reservations about her performance tonight I definitely plan to find out if this is the case.