Red Card Comedy club review: The line-ups are always decent
- Credit: Supplied by Red Card Comedy Club
The Red Card Comedy Club has become an institution in Norwich over the last fifteen or so years.
Held in the Gunn Club at Carrow Road it follows the traditional comedy set up of three stand-up acts hosted by The Compere, with drink breaks in between.
These days it is held on the last Friday of the month, with the weekend's Saturday night show being the exception. The line-ups are always very decent, with a mixture of up-and-coming young comedians and experienced heads.
Over the years Reginald D Hunter, Micky Flanagan, Ian Stone, Nina Conti, Michael McIntyre, Gary Delaney and Lee Nelson stopped by on their way to success. Just last week Mark Simmons made his debut on BBC2's Mock the Week following an appearance at Carrow Road.
I've attended the club on and off since the very early days and have enjoyed some brilliant performances over the years. Despite the room being a peculiar rectangular shape, often commented on by the comedians, it works well as the ceiling is low giving the shows an intimate feeling. The staff at Carrow Road are always brilliant too, although the basic food is hugely over-priced.
Tonight's turnout of a few hundred was good. Not sold out like usual, but everybody seemed in a great mood including quite a few well oiled and loud groups. It was refreshing not to have things ruined by a drunken heckler too. They are annoyingly common-place anywhere so it's good to know the club have always been good at dealing with them here.
The Compere was the returning regular John Mann who kicked things off sharply at 8.30pm. He is always a good host with an array of material to fall back on and performed a decent enough introduction. I've heard a few of his jokes before, but they're good jokes so it's ok.
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First up was Michael Fabbri. This guy is the real deal with a fantastic, gross-out set. His story about being trapped in a hotel room is hilarious, and he received plenty of 'ewwwwws' after his joke about blowing his nose. His material about becoming a dad is also strong, especially about the horrors of birth. He is definitely on his way up and I would not be surprised to see him appear on TV soon.
Naomi Cooper was the second act with a set mostly based around her aging parents, ex-boyfriends and sex. I felt she struggled slightly to win the crowd over but she's definitely funny and a strong performer.
Old hand Pierre Hollins headlined the night brilliantly. His anti-religion, lefty politics biased set was right up my street and he even finished with his electric guitar and a couple of songs - including his own very British version of the blues.
Once again The Red Card Comedy Club delivered and I'll definitely be attending a few more nights over the next year. It's always worth checking out their summertime Laugh in the Park nights too, which attract the very best comedians the UK has to offer.