After the music-fuelled madness of this year’s Freshers Week opening weekend, Monday night saw a change in pace as acclaimed comedian Daniel Sloss took to the Venue 1 stage to provide the Union’s evening entertainment.
Fresh from another successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Sloss’ brand of sharp, profane, and engagingly performed humour played well to a cheery, if somewhat timid, St Andrews crowd.
At just 22, Sloss is almost young enough to be an undergraduate himself, but his confidence, charisma, and the easy flow of his consistently excellent set speaks to the five years of extensive touring he already has under his belt. Chatting with an infectious energy and in a raft of high-pitched cadences, the Fifer’s jokes were polished – an anecdote about his girlfriend’s infuriating games of ‘What Would You Do If…?’ springs to mind – and there was an impressive spontaneity to his delivery that kept even the more conventional gags feeling fresh.
Sloss’ topics mainly centred on typical comic subjects – religion, sex, the French – but it was easy to overlook the more familiar aspects of his routine thanks to the craft of the jokes themselves. An extended bit about Edinburgh Zoo’s gay penguins was a particular highlight, showcasing his ability to tie together a lengthier narrative with some continuously funny asides and observations
Opening act Kai Humphries also played his part in what was an enjoyable evening. The Newcastle native made a point of engaging with the crowd – with mixed results – and though he seemed to run out of steam towards the end of his warm-up set, his undeniable charm saw him win over the initially hesitant audience.
It was a quieter night in Venue 1 than the previous two then, but it was ultimately all the better for it. Sloss in particular impressed greatly, and provided a welcome – and most importantly, very funny – alternative to the first, chaotic nights of Freshers.