Acclaimed comedians Douglas Walker and Daniel Nils Roberts took to Komedia’s basement stage on Friday night to air their shows ‘Komischer’ and ‘The Causeway’.
Prior the pair’s departure again for the international festival circuit, a packed home crowd gathered for a preview of the shows; Walker revitalising last year’s successful Edinburgh outing and Roberts testing the waters with a brand new batch of material.
For those of us who are a little tired of dumbed-down or just plain shouty stand-up comedy, this bill was the perfect antidote with Walker’s warm-up gags setting the tone for a night of clever and extremely funny jokes and theatrical delivery.
Roberts’ set was a form of trigger-point laughing therapy, with slow burning visual narratives in a character-based sequence of sketches full of puns and reminiscent of the best aspects of Horrible Histories. Somehow he managed to sustain the bizarre theme right through the performance, thanks largely to an enormous volume of content with a lot of diverse elements. Even though Roberts was clearly finding his feet with the sequence, the room (and SOURCE) responded with genuine out-loud laughter, not that car crash kind some stand-up gigs generate.
While (slightly) less heart-wrenching than his previous Möglich routine, Walker’s set still retained the performer’s ability to express passion and sincerity while busting out the gags. His savage assaults on observational comedians and rapid fire absurdities somehow weave together; Walker is the Prince of the build up. His stagecraft and characterisation drag you into the performance until the subtle line between stage and seating is all but gone. Fans of Stewart Lee will find plenty to please them in this show and they may even discover they like ‘comedy’ after all. Maaaaybeeeeee.
If you are going to see either of these shows as they begin touring, pack a Tena Lady and expect a decent abs and cheek workout.
Komedia, Friday 20th January 2017
Words Louise Bloom
Photo Ian Greenland