Best of Comedy debut is a sold out success

Over the years, the likes of Sara Pascoe, Dave John, Simon Munnery and Mitch Benn have entertained the Corn Hall Comedy Club, but not all on the same night. I don’t think there’s ever been a line up as illustrious as the Best of Comedy event. The acts on offer were rewarded by a sell-out crowd, as the Corn Hall, full to busting, enjoyed an evening to remember.

Tiff Stevenson compered, quickly warming up an unusually diffident crowd. Reading the room, she quickly dispensed with the crowd chat that never goes down well at the Corn Hall, and instead delivered a charming routine about mums and cats, before inviting Julian Deane on stage. His combination of one liners and subverted expectation kept the laughs going throughout his all too brief set. It had me wondering – if this is our first act, what treats are to come? The answer was force of nature Nick Helm. With Helm it’s a case of buckling up and bracing yourself for what comes next. He talked (actually shouted) about his depression, the effects of the consequent medication, and so much more that is quite unprintable.

For me, Helm was the evening’s highlight, if only because it was so unpredictable, but there’s no denying the consummate skill of headliner Hal Cruttenden. With talk of marital strife, Matt Hancock and misery in general, he had the audience guffawing, not least when jousting with a pair of creepy twins – his words not mine. After the shock-horror of the previous performer, the machine tool precision of his act was not only impressive, it was an indication of how well the night had been curated. All in all, this has to have been the best night of comedic variety seen at the Corn Hall for a very long time.