Underbelly Festival, London
Uncredited, One4Review August 22nd, 2009
Comedy Club 4 Kids is well established outside of the Edinburgh Fringe. Its aim is to provide a genuine comedy club experience for the those not old enough to go to an adult comedy club. There is a different line-up everyday during the Fringe and all the acts are regulars on the adult comedy circuit, they often adapt their regular material to use with the kids – the only difference at Comedy Club 4 Kids is that you won’t hear any swearing.
The night I was at Comedy Club 4 Kids regular host and compere Tiernan Douieb was joined by Grainne Maguire and Holly Walsh, both names I hadn’t heard before. However, Comedy Club 4 Kids often attracts some of the big names such as Brendan Burns, Adam Hills and Jason Byrne. The great thing here though is that although the parents may be impressed by big name billings, the only thing the kids care about is if they make them laugh.
This can be a tough gig for the comedians. Whereas an adult audience may laugh out of politeness or even sympathy, if the kids don’t find the act funny then they just won’t laugh, and if they aren’t laughing then they’ll be getting bored and fidgety and the noise levels rise. Unfortunately for Maguire, despite her best efforts and some good material, the kids just weren’t going with her. Holly Walsh faired better with her ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ spoof with three kids cast as the judges and two, rather embarrassed, Dads as the contestants.
Tiernan Douieb demonstrated his considerable experience as compere of these gigs for kids. He is never patronising and has a fantastic rapport with the kids, generating plenty of laughs for both them and the adults alike. Comedy Club 4 Kids is an excellent idea and with a sell-out crowd the Edinburgh Fringe audiences certainly seem to agree.