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Stag Party

Acts that have impressed me the most January 2023

This has been a great month for live comedy. The stand out was the Funhouse 20th anniversary gig, where every act was headline quality. The only real downside to comedy in January is that it’s often pretty horrible leaving the house to go out into the cold, de-icing your car and then having to repeat the process when you leave the gig.

As always, acts are time barred so that I don’t simply repeat the same names. As a result, Andrew Bird and David Eagle, who would be fixtures here, don’t feature. Just book them.

These are the acts that have impressed me the most:

Alan Hudson

You can’t beat a skilled comedy magician for sending a night off on a high and Hudson was simply amazing.

From the night:

I was particularly looking forward to seeing Hudson. Not just for myself, but also for my friend who really, really, really loves magic and I think she’d been excited all day about this. It was great watching her reactions to every trick. Hudson had a fantastic night and I’m really glad that he’s now based back in the North. He performed with his sleeves pulled up, so you could see he wasn’t making things appear or vanish up them. The tricks were all fantastic and I’ve no idea how he did any of them. The whole room was going nuts when he pulled them off. Hudson had plenty of fun with his volunteers, including Alex who had questionable skills with cling film and the lady whose ring he vanished – her mouth just dropped in surprise. The final trick, involving calculators was a real showstopper. This was a champion performance that ended the night on a massive high.

Anna Thomas

This was a cracking set from an act who is hopefully going to become a fixture on pro bills.

From the night:

I’d heard a lot of good stuff about Thomas, but hadn’t actually seen her perform yet, so I’d been looking forward to this. She had a belter of a gig. She’s lively, conversational and has a set that never seems to stand still. There were jokes, props, songs and a ukulele. As a result, she commanded the room with ease and I’d say the audience warmed to her in about 1 second flat. Greg was pissing himself laughing watching her and that was great to see. The material was eclectic and this works very well, especially when combined with her delivery and changes of direction. Thomas is not only a bookable act, but she’s going to make it as a pro act.

Peter Brush

A top act, whom I was lucky enough to see twice this month.

From the night:

Brush is a splendid act whose cerebral style of comedy strongly appeals to me. It also appealed to a crowd of people in a social club, which was great. Without being bothered by the noise bleed from the drier in the toilet, Brush gave the room a superb set, the logical flow of which, was impeccable. He treats the audience as being smart enough to get his jokes and they most certainly do. A real highlight concerned the photos. This was fantastic.

Honourable mentions:

Tom Ratcliffe, Wilson,


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