By Jack Holmes
Comedy nights have become some what of a predictable event. You go along and listen to two or three acts one after another, some might have a more deadpan style, some might be a little wackier: Overall, it’s a similar tone throughout though.
The Delightful Sausage is an alternative comedy event hosted once a month at The Castle Hotel that aims to change that. It focuses on allowing acts to experiment with new material, as well as offer the audience something
a little very different. Oh, did we mention students get free entry? Now you’re interested right?
The show is split into two halves with Chris Cantrill, the London come Manchester comedian, performing a short set as host, before introducing the multitude of other acts throughout the night. Cantrill’s coming off the success of his support slot with Nick Thune earlier this month, and his performance there may well be the reason the venues pretty much sold out tonight. His set is a mix of new and old material, a lot of which gains an extra layer due to his partner and parents also attending. One particular punchline involving his Mum’s antics in Hull even warrants a quick apology and a laugh that rivals the original joke itself, “I felt sick just saying that,” he laughs.
He’s followed by London comedian Sunil Patel, whose deadpan comedic style works well as he experiments with a wealth of smaller jokes, likely working out the kinks in his material and slowly building a final set. His performance comes off as genuine, and avoids the pitfalls of seeming like a robotic overworked series of tried and tested material – one of the strong points all of the nights comedians share. His material itself is hit and miss, as is to be expected from this kind of comedy testing ground. Some jokes stray into a little too sinister territory, such as a particular piece on his housemates underwear, however they largely leave the audience in stitches.
After a brief interval featuring reasonably priced pint refills and some free homemade chocolate slices (nice touch), the audience return for a second half thoroughly more bizarre than the first. It focuses on the experimental aspect of the night, with almost a dozen three minute sections, each allowing a performer to test out a new section of their routine.
“You don’t see that on TV,” Cantrill perfectly summarises as we see just about every style of comedy you could possibly dream of, and a few you probably couldn’t. There’s the comedy duo of Gina and Tina who put on what’s best described as a dramatic comedy piece, Jane Edwards tells a Welsh love story using some *ahem* beautifully rendered artistic drawings and ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’, and Eddie Hayes explores the world of air musicianship, and that’s just a handful of the acts. I also couldn’t cover this section of the show without mentioning Frank Foucault, who becomes the poster child of the evening combining well thought out comedy with pure madness. If you’ve never seen a man make graphic love to a potted plant on stage. I’d certainly try and catch one of his shows. It’s incredibly strange, but thoroughly entertaining, making it a perfect summary of the night.
There’s also an interesting trend of new media comedy, the first of which comes at the end of the first half in the form of @Davidledavis and @Jamesshakeshaft’s short video advertisement for the local high street. Closing off the show is another example with Ben Clover’s set focusing around a PowerPoint presentation on how to save money around the Valentine’s Day period. It’s this different take on a comedy show that sets the Delightful Sausage shows apart from the dozens of others around the city. You really won’t see some of this stuff anywhere else, and it’s plain and simply, a lot of fun.