Freshers’ 2014: Jon Richardson review

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The Jon Richardson show didn’t get off to a great, or rather timely, start.

After a mostly full house trickled in for the 10p m show, they were kept waiting for nearly half an hour until Leon O’Rourke, the Students’ Association’s director of events and services and the opening act, finally arrived on stage.

With a self-deprecating start of “I’m disappointed to see me, too”, Leon delivered humorous commentary on his split Iranian-Irish heritage. As Leon quipped, it worked well because “you can’t spell Iran without IRA”. In addition to amusing descriptions of his heritage, he also delivered quips on his upbringing in Glasgow. As Leon tells it, he “grew up in a rough part of Glasgow, called Glasgow”.

After Leon, the audience was treated to the quirky delight of Lucy Beaumont, a comedian hailing from Hull. Lucy came on stage looking every bit the housewife, with chequered trousers, a pink jumper and handbag. She started off with an awkward match-making attempt between two people called Lucy and Murray, which she followed with a poem she wrote “loosely based on [her] next door neighbour – Syphilis”.

Lucy’s set was full of wacky one-liners and ditzy magic tricks, and quite a few ‘slow-to-sink-in’ jokes. She recounted how many of her friends put ultrasound pictures on Facebook with the caption “Look what we’re having”, but being Lucy she thought they were black and white pictures of dinner. “What?” she asked the audience, “liver and onions?”

After Lucy came the headliner act Jon Richardson, who opened with “Better together, innit?” to the collective response of “oh no”. Jon had tailored his set to a university setting and included many witticisms about Freshers’ Week. He was impressed by the number of students coming to a comedy show during Freshers’ because, as he put it: “There are Freshers’ Weeks now where people are drinking piss out of dead pigeons.” Jon even included some tidbits of his own (relatively tamer) Freshers’ Week, where he was “scouting for girls – but just for good chat”.

However, the highlight of his set was the ongoing rapport with a student called Jamie in the audience. It started when Jon asked Jamie if he was a fan of Scouting for Girls, an English band included in this year’s Freshers’ lineup. When Jamie responded no, Jon asked him what he did like, and Jamie responded with the word that started it all: “You”. The dialogue was kept up the whole performance, with Jon admitting at the end: “What’s weird is that I’ve started flirting with you now.”

The three acts were worth the initial lengthy wait. It was a night of self-deprecating humour, quirky one-liners and, as Jon described himself: “man showcasing 10 slightly racist accents”. The event was a treat for anyone who loves the UK’s national comedy scene, but also demonstrated that we have some thriving comedians scene right here at home.

Check out The Saint‘s photos of the night here.

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