Fringe Box



Review: G Live’s Hellfire Comedy Club

Published on: 28 Sep, 2014
Updated on: 28 Sep, 2014
Clubby atmosphere

Clubby atmosphere in the backstage area of G Live

By Victoria Lazarevic

All the ingredients for G Live’s Hellfire Comedy Club on Wednesday  (September 24) were there: curry, Cobra beer and comedians.

But despite the efficient and professional event planning by the G Live team, and absolutely delicious curry, I soon realised that I had misunderstood what the Hellfire brand meant and the style of comedy to expect. It was the Hellfire-esq bawdy humour that (call me a prude), made the comedy, well, cringy.

Rosalie Carter, G Live’s PR manager said:Hellfire is a brand that visits all the HQ Theatre venues and it’s named after the Hellfire Club in the 1800s when poets would get together and cause a riot (Byron et al).”

The Hellfire comedy club has been running monthly since G Live opened in 2011 and is clearly successful. The house was almost full with an audience of mixed ages and groups, office and birthday parties, couples and friends sharing large round tables.

Wetting our appetites prior to the comedy was the tasty and plentiful curry.  Lauren Ashby, G Lives sales and events manager said: “The curry was made by the chefs in house.” High praise came from a chef who lives in Northchapel, near Petworth, with whom we shared a table, he said:  “The curry is really good”.

Delicious curry - hellish eyes

Delicious curry – hellish eyes

We were tucked back stage behind the black swaths of stage curtain which successfully created a dark and clubby ambience. Had there been a pop up mini bar it might have helped our compere, Bryan Lacey, with the unenviable task of warming up a midweek and sober Guildford audience.

Henry Paker 2

Henry Paker

Edinburgh festival fringe comedian Henry Paker was the first act, and whilst some of the audience applauded jokes about his baldness, prawn cocktail crisps and gold fish poo my enjoyment was marred by his verbosity about body parts, shared baths and relations with his fiancée.

A couple living near Normandy out for a birthday treat said of the second act: “Following the dismal Henry Paker, Brian did a pretty good recovery job after the interval, upping the mood quite nicely for the headline act, Junior Simpson.”

“Junior was enthusiastic and initially inoffensive (even if not particularly good), but he managed to turn that around in the last five minutes with a curveball of unnecessary genetalia references, completely out of sync with the rest of his act. We were glad when it was over.’”

The turnout suggests the comedy club is a popular event but I would suggest finding out beforehand if the comedians are suited to your taste.

Doors opened for the curry at 7pm and the comedy started at 8pm with an interval, ending at 9.45pm. Next date is Thursday 23rd October.

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