There was the rugby, there was everybody’s mothers, but in spite of all the competition The Railway in Clapham rejoiced in another rollicking dollop of comedy on Sunday.
A hardy crowd braved the cold after Mother’s Day lunch and were treated to six top acts.
First was Windsor titan Tom Holmes, busting out the A-material as well as fresh-minted funny from his, frankly, unique mind.
Being the opening act is never easy but Holmes was like the bottle of fine Champagne broken on the side of a magnificent comedy vessel as it leaves port on its maiden voyage.
That makes it sound a lot camper than it was, but you get what I mean.
Second comic Ben Westwood left an indelible impression on our audience who lapped up his hard-edged whimsy on befriending strange cats and the genitals he inherited.
One heartwarming moment of his audience interaction is recorded for posterity here – highly recommended.
Closing the first-half was Madeleine Culp, who was great in a number of ways. But if you missed it and want to catch her again you’ll have to go to America, because that’s where she’s off to very shortly.
Have fun Stateside Madeleine!
And it was Madeleine who had the most interesting story to relate after the interval, having overheard a couple engaged in a physical love endeavour in one of the Railway’s loos. Not only do you get comedy at the Fat Controller, you might even get laid!
Opening the second half with pure old-school class was magician El Baldinho.
A great set of tricks, gags and showmanship rounded off with a fantastic set piece, left our audience very happy.
Stepping into a breach left by an unavoidably delayed act was local man (Number five Bunion Road) Luke Oliver.
Luke’s runaway-train surrealism was leavened with a warmth the crowd loved and that was all the more impressive for his having gamely filled one of our gaps at the last minute.
The terrific Andy Storey brought things to a close in unforgettable style.
A timeless blend of craft, inspiration and American Civil War general facial hair, Andy stormed it like Ulysses S Grant. Thanks Andy!
The crowd, who were particularly clued up about wizards in popular culture, were a delight – come again!
Next week! It’s always been free,
but now it’s weekly!