Chichester Festival Theatre
James Beagon, Broadway Baby August 9th, 2014
an 11 year old just made an excellent joke about Tibet and I still can’t get this out of my head.
I didn’t expect to be hearing hard-hitting political satire this afternoon, but wow, that was actually quite a good Tibet joke. A Tibet joke from an 11 year old. Yes, 11. ‘Comedy Club 4 Kids’ is an hour of stand-up comedy with a difference; it’s largely catered to kids and occasionally stars them. I say ‘largely catered’ because an 11 year old just made an excellent joke about Tibet and I still can’t get this out of my head.
With a shifting line-up, it’s obviously difficult to predict if the day you choose to go will be funny, but if today was anything to go by, you have nothing to worry about. This mix of adult and child comedians will have you chuckling merrily throughout the afternoon.
We begin with Tim FitzHigham MC-ing us through the night, swiftly getting the children in the audience involved and capturing their attention. His mixture of jokes go down well, with many registering with the younger audience. Others go over their heads as the adults titter instead. Joe Wells then comes out with some simpler material – warnings about bogies. Nevertheless, this equally goes down a treat with the younger audience. Never have I seen children so eager for spinach, handed out as a bogey deterrent.
We then come to our young comedians of the afternoon – Frankie Yeates Riddoch and Grace MacLaughlin. I think the audience were slightly surprised to see them come on after two adult comedians and they took a while to adjust accordingly. Yet Frankie soon entertains with a barrage of puns and some well-placed witticisms about crepes, Edinburgh and the Fringe. Grace engages in some altogether surprisingly heavy material, including Tibet amongst a sweatshop joke and other things. Whilst I was shocked, I laughed a lot. I do wonder how well these jokes registered with some of her contemporaries however. Regardless, keep an eye out for these two names on comedy circuits in a decade’s time. If they’re this good when they’re 11, imagine what they’ll be like then.
Jonny & The Baptists round us off for the afternoon with an amusing musical performance; one that once again deftly toes the line between child and adult humour. This is certainly a show that has the ability to entertain those of all ages, though I pity the parents who might have to retrospectively skirt over what certain jokes meant. A few jokes from all did occasionally feel slightly inappropriate for the afternoon, not that the kids in the audience realised.
Nevertheless, a solid afternoon’s entertainment can be found here. Perhaps the stars of the future will be too.