I’d been promised that the line up at Just The Tonic, a Nottingham comedy club at The Forum, on Saturday the 4th of May would be their strongest of the year so far. With Gary Delaney and Paul McCaffrey of Mock The Week and Impractical Jokers fame respectively on the bill, alongside Mick Ferry and Johnny Candon, both of whom have performed all over the world, I had high expectations of a laughter filled night.

Compère Johnny Candon opened the night with the usual mix of scripted material and off the cuff crowd interaction. His friendly Dublin accent belied his crude, often offensive sense of humour, which had the crowd torn between hilarity and disgust. However, his cheeky manner, and the seeming delight he drew from the groans of his audience, endeared him to most, and started off the night amusingly, even if his obsession with vulgarity did start to seem a little linear towards the end.

First on the bill was Paul McCaffrey. The recent success of the UK version of the US prank show Impractical Jokers on BBC3 has raised McCaffrey’s profile, but it is as a stand-up that he truly excels. His persona of an everyday cockney bloke who sees the ridiculous in the mundane provided consistent laughs; the truly memorable element of his act was his interaction with the enigmatic ‘John’, a member of the audience who stated that he sold kitchens “for £400”, much to McCaffrey’s amusement – “where do you fit these kitchens, in caravans!?”

Mick Ferry followed, a middle aged Mancunian who’s opening gambit of, “that’s right ladies, the eye candy’s arrived,” had everyone laughing from the start (look him up, he’s far from an Adonis). His accent, and his body shape, may be reminiscent of Peter Kay, but his comedy is a lot less family friendly. From subjects such as his apathetic attitude towards parenthood, to the composition of his wife’s genitalia, Ferry broached subjects that many would find distasteful, but his sardonic delivery ensured that the audience were too busy laughing to become seriously offended.

Finally, Gary Delaney arrived. As the headline act of such an impressive bill, I was expecting greatness from Sarah Millican’s boyfriend, and I was not disappointed. Delaney has been described as ‘the man who Jimmy Carr tries to be’, and from this performance you can see why; his array of one-liners are witty and shocking, offensive and hilarious. Genuinely inappropriate material is treated exactly the same as sweetly charming puns, all delivered impeccably by a comedian who is completely endearing and believable purely because he finds himself so funny.

The strongest line-up that Just The Tonic have offered Nottingham so far this year did not disappoint, leaving me hoping that next Saturday’s comedians, Roger Monkhouse, Susan Murray, Joel Dommett and Tom Toal can live up to the standards set this week.

Andy Donley

This Saturday’s line up at Just The Tonic includes Roger Monkhouse, Susan Murray, Joel Dommett and Tom Toal. For more information see: http://www.justthetonic.com/nottingham-comedy/ 

Student Half Price Tickets, for more info email: [email protected]

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