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By Adam Martin on 23.10.2023

Chatback Comedy club at the Parrot Pub (18th October)

Another night and another successful show for those of us at the Parrot last Thursday. The 2011 Chortle Student Comedy Award winner, Rob Carter, stunned the audience with a metaphorical medley of love songs and gangster rap parodies. His performance dazzled with a mix of intelligent humour and hushes of minor 7th guitar chords, reminiscent of a certain New Zealand duo who came to fame not long ago.

We also saw the likes of Sofie Hagen and Thomas Trinquet. The former was a brilliant act, and I am sure the audience was taken, like me, by her accent. Originally from Denmark, Sofie Hagen has been living in London for a matter of months. Despite English being her second language, she is able to craft some pretty intelligent jokes and her grip on British sarcasm only fuels her helpless confusion at the things she experiences. Her bemusement at Londoners and her weight became her main talking points but that was all she needed to keep the room in fits of laughter.
More than anything, it was really interesting to see someone perform stand-up in their second language and use it to full effect. For Hagen it became part of the act itself. When you do this, not only are you translating language but also humour, style and context – which is pretty impressive when you think about it. This all reminds me of Eddie Izzard who is known to do his acts both in English and in French. Here is a clip of Izzard performing in France:

Thomas Trinquet, who was simply introduced as ‘the local act’ had the effect of seeming very foreign. Wearing a full suit and trench coat, Trinquet braced the stage holding just a pan and most of his set was filled with lengthy silences, which in the name of comic timing, probably went on for a bit too long. The irony being that his facial expressions were limited to going from a stern gaze to an unnerving smile. His set was only 5 minutes long but showed signs of potential and I would prefer to see a longer set of his. Especially when he had one liners like this: “I’ve invented the best telepathic joke of all time. I’m going to show it to you now.” An awkward silence descended onto the room. He finished by asking “Why are you all staring at me?”.

Joel Dommett brought the show to an end with an energized, caffeine-fuelled giggle fest. I think he has a fan base of mostly girls but this shouldn’t be what he is judged on. You can’t help but love his stories and his skill at turning a joke around. Having appeared on Russell Howard’s Good News, Dommett is now working with comedian Eric Lampaert, making their two-man show into a split stand-up show and then twenty minute joint performance.

The next chatback night is on the 15th November so go and book tickets here: http://chatbackcomedy.moonfruit.com/#/next-shows/4537948637

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