Considering the lavish, quiet setting of Beaufort House, it’s hard to know what to expect from this evening of comedy. The monthly event is held in the private members’ bar above the chic restaurant, offering plush couches, intimate lighting and a four-star dinner menu. It is a lovely venue, but at first seems at odds with the traditional rowdiness that accompanies most comedy gigs. This, as it turns out, is a pleasant misconception. The audience is small and reserved, but are quickly engaged by the personable MC and Richard Branson lookalike Barry Ferns. Ferns introduces three acts to the show, headlined by faux-Frenchman Marcel Lucont. Though Lucont is perhaps the biggest name on the line-up, his support acts are received with just as much enthusiasm.
Somalian born Prince Abdi opens the show with a winning, accessible set about travel and culture. He speaks to his audience with the warm air of one sharing anecdotes with a close friend and does indeed get some stories from the audience in return. Abdi laughs along with the crowd at his own jokes, which is oddly endearing. His stories inspire giggles rather than stitches, but this is the perfect pace for his performance. His set is pleasantly entertaining and ends entirely too soon.
Jenny Collier offers a vastly different performance. She runs the classic routes of love life and family, but gets there with ironic, fast-paced wit. Collier’s set is quick and clever, with jokes rolling by so swiftly that the audience can just about keep up. While much of Collier’s set revolves around single life, she approaches the matter with a refreshing doe-eyed quirkiness rather than the well-trodden “single and bitter” slant.
Headliner Marcel Lucont has cultivated the snooty persona of a belligerent Frenchman. To their delight, Lucont is derisive and bored with his audience. He spends much of his set belittling the British and offering unsolicited sex advice to the crowd. The audience respond with hysterical if nervous laughter under Lucont’s increasingly judgemental glare, and overall his playfully disdainful act is received in good nature.
Beaufort House hold their comedy evening on the third Thursday of each month and if July’s event was any indication, they are sure to host some truly outstanding acts. This is an intimate event for comedians to dry-run material with smaller audiences. In turn, audiences can expect an enjoyable and undoubtedly hilarious night out.
For further information about Beaufort House and future events visit here.
Watch Marcel Lucont’s stand up here.