Underbelly Festival, London
Victoria Benn, Yorkshire Times June 22nd, 2015
This show is a great format for introducing children to the worlds of comedy, cabaret, theatre and live music. Short enough to keep younger minds focused, varied enough to ensure there's something for everyone, and participative enough to keep the adults on their toes.
Grassington Festival’s first ever Comedy Club 4 Kids was something along the lines of Whose Line is it Anyway meets Spinal Tap. All U rated of course, and all absolutely hilarious.
Danny Pensive from Manchester’s Comedy Sportz was our compere for the afternoon, and with his friendly and down-to-earth north east tones, he helped us all comfortably settle in. He sang funny songs, asked questions of the audience (whose average age was about ten), and dealt the confusing and bizarre answers he received with aplomb; which all added to the sense of fun and funniness.
Danny handed over to three other members of Comedy Sportz who took over proceedings in an energetic way, garnering audience involvement for several Whose Line is it Anyway ‘improv’ style games; which were quick, witty, sometimes ingenious, and more often than not – just down-right silly. Even for those of us who’ve seen this type of game before, it felt as fresh and funny as ever, with off the cuff jokes pitched perfectly for younger minds – a particular highlight being the improvised ‘waiter waiter’ jokes.
The last segment of the event was perhaps the most surprising, as it took the form of an ironic rock group, called Ray Guns Look Real Enough. The rock duo comprising (real names) Ryan Beange – the stooge, on tambourine and sporting a comedy leopard skin cat suit; and Matt Blair, the serious rock god on guitar. Their repertoire consisted of a succession of high quality mash ups of recognisable pop and rock songs, interspersed with comic bickering. What made this work though was the quality of songs they created. Ryan, despite looking ridiculous, had a truly awesome singing voice which could emulate to perfection the sound and tone of original artists, such as Axel Rose, Black Box, Lady Gaga and Ram Jam. It didn’t matter that younger audience members didn’t recognise the songs; the performance was as awe inspiring as it was funny, which was all that mattered. A special mention must also go out to Ryan’s ‘invisible pan-pipes’ which despite being note perfect, were utterly bonkers.
This show is a great format for introducing children to the worlds of comedy, cabaret, theatre and live music. Short enough to keep younger minds focused, varied enough to ensure there’s something for everyone, and participative enough to keep the adults on their toes. Definitely one to watch out for.