August 03, 2015
Technically speaking, the name of the venue was the Tommyfield in Kennington, but if we can give a bit of extra publicity to Always Be Comedy, the name of this regular comedy night, then we feel it’s our duty to do so. Tonight’s roster was an Edinburgh Festival Fringe preview featuring self-confessed ‘weird’ comic Harriet Kemsley and Katherine Ryan, one of the most popular comedians on the circuit today. For a bargain price of just £6.60, we settled down.
After a brief but fun introduction from the immensely likeable James Gill, who seems well aware of the bargain Always Be Comedy are offering, we’re straight into the first act of the night. Harriet Kemsley is previewing her show Puppy Fat, a ramshackle ride through her life, explaining the reason for her anxieties and how she’s turning them into a positive. It’s at times bizarre but also very, very funny, particularly when talking about her mother pretending not to be Father Christmas. This is her debut hour and although it isn’t quite as polished as it could be, that’s the point of a preview and there’s more than enough to recommend Harriet Kemsley’s show for those of you heading to the Edinburgh Fringe. As an aside, she actually performed at Sternberg Clarke’s comedy showcase a few years ago, so we were totally ahead of the crowd. What a logo we used to have, eh?
After a brief interlude whereby James Gill and three volunteers from the audience attempt to chip a golf ball through a window – no, really – we’re back to the comedy and the introduction of Katherine Ryan, a supremely popular Canadian comic whose comedy is at times profane and vulgar but always on point and very, very funny. She breezes through her set speaking about various celebrities from Caitlyn Jenner to Peter Andre and Katie Price. Most of her lines are unrepeatable here but rest assured that Katherine Ryan will have you rolling in the aisles. Also on point are her superb voices for both glamour models and her daughter respectively; a tale about her daughter’s dead rabbit being taken to the vet was absolutely hilarious. Having just typed that sentence, we’re aware it makes us come off as a tad uncaring and morbid but... Well, it’s a very funny tale which is why it’s being used for comedy.
All in all, both Harriet Kemsley and Katherine Ryan are immensely talented comics and performing to a packed comedy crowd at the Tommyfield in Kennington shows that they’re both extremely popular. We wish them both luck as they head to the Edinburgh Fringe and urge you to see at least one of them, if not both. Always Be Comedy was a wonderful evening and a great event and we’ll be sure to return to another night soon. As we all filtered out of this gorgeous venue, it was clear that everybody had got their money’s worth. A true bargain.
Photo by Idil Sukan.
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By Henry Fosdike