I’m aware of three regular comedy nights in Chester:
Alexanders every Friday night from 8:30pm
Commonhall Social’s Commo Club monthly from 8pm
Our Rita’s Comedy Club at Storyhouse monthly from 8pm
But the only one I’ve checked out (numerous times) is Our Rita’s. Here’s what your money (usually around £12.50) will get you – the opportunity to hear from new, up-and-coming comedians, followed by a more established headliner. Like any comedy night, some of the acts will be Marmite, some of the jokes will induce crying with laughter, whilst others hit duff notes. You don’t attend a mixed line-up comedy night for a dead cert – but to expose yourself to what’s new, and test what you enjoy. I always look forward to the post-drink on Northgate Street after, discussing what didn’t work for us, and what we found hilarious. It’s a big part of the fun – not knowing what you’re in for. Our Rita’s is a very reasonably priced experimental evening where you just might end up discovering a new comedian who thoroughly tickles you (thank you Seymour Mace).
I admire anyone who has the balls to get up there and try out their material – you’re immediately on their side, like the best man at a wedding, encouraging even if it’s not your cup of tea. The comedy is consistently interesting and fresh; an eclectic mix of styles and voices that’s always worth making time for. And you can always rely on a dedicated MC – I’ve now seen both Danny Mcloughlin and Pete Selwood, seamlessly warm up an audience and riff off the front row. It’s an obvious point – but if you sit in the front row, you will be part of the show. Whereas those of us at the back (yes, me) can hide under the lights and relax. Perhaps i’d be more receptive, had my dad not taken my brother and I to a Dave Spikey show as teenagers, with the support act singling me out for all of his jokes (ranging from not enjoying my jumper, to debating my sexual preferences). I don’t know who was more embaressed (definitely me).
For the November Our Rita’s night, we spent time with Jack Carroll, a young Yorkshire comedian, writer and actor, and Lindsey Davies, comedian, author and lunatic (according to her Twitter account). They were wildly different from one another, so a great pairing for the night – Jack took a satirical view on politics and disability, with Lindsey talking us through controversial parenting and the rocky relationship with her mother. Whilst I enjoyed both acts, it was the headliner, Seymour Mace who had me roaring. His style; gently paced, jokes which sneak up on you, ideas bordering on the bizarre, was right up my street. And like any top-notch act, he left us wanting more (how about it Storyhouse?). I was gutted when his set ended, determined to keep tabs on the dancing (yes, really good dancing as well) Geordie’s future gigs.
Follow Our Rita’s on Twitter for ticket releases, and to find out what awesome acts they’ve lured to Chester.
You can have a read of my review of the March show, featuring James Acaster, Barbara Nice, Matt Richardson and Lou Conran, here.