Performing for an audience who showed up expecting to see a different act isn’t easy, and the Underground Comedy Club certainly didn’t make it look any easier on Thursday night.
The Underground Comedy Club, made up of comedians Geo Show, Ken Rogan, Micky No, Garry Elliott and Mark Cahill, was standing in for musical comedy duo Jaffa Cakes in the Twisted Pepper as part of the 10 days in Dublin festival.
The loft space in the Twisted Pepper is a tiny venue, and a precariously intimate one for a comedy gig. When you’re one of 15 people in the audience, it’s extremely noticeable that no one is laughing; or as on Thursday night, when everyone is trying their best to laugh out of politeness. For most of the evening, it felt a bit like being trapped in a corner by someone trying unsuccessfully to chat you up at a party.
It was obvious that the gig had been arranged at the last minute after Jaffa Cakes’ cancellation, and none of the acts were particularly well prepared. Many of the performers seemed to be trying out new material, material which one can only hope will be cut before their next outing.
There were some bright moments in the evening. Garry Elliott’s strong on-stage presence and timing marked him as a cut above the rest of the performances and one to watch. However, most of the evening was uncomfortable to sit through, as the majority of the laughter in the room was coming from the hysteria of performers whose jokes were falling flat on the bemused audience.