On a very cold Saturday night I was at first reluctant to leave my cosy home and wait for a bus to South Woodford, then a tube and then a walk to the Heathcote Arms in Leytonstone but I had promised my friend, D, I would go and am glad I managed it. D's friend was the compere of the evening - Manos - whom she had met on a retreat weekend. It was good to meet him and he was very kind and gave us a lift home afterwards.
When we arrived we were offered a free glass of Ouzo and there was a voucher for a free drink plus nibbles on the table.
The first 2 acts both had a confident manner and were good at presenting themselves. However they were just too rude and un PC for me. I'm not a prude but just find this sort of humour unfunny and the swearing unnecessary. We did find out however that Simon in the front row was (so he said) a Time Out reviewer. The 3rd act we recognised immediately as the lady who had been selling tickets on the door. I don't think this was a good plan by the organiser as this immediately gave us an opinion of her. At the end of the evening (after several glasses of Ouzo) I volunteered myself to sell tickets next time. Will see if they take me up on it.
The next act was an Italian who must be the worst comedy act I have ever seen. His English wasn't fantastic and his delivery of "jokes" was far too slow and painful. He completely lost the audience but although everyone was talking amongst themselves there wasn't anyone brave enough to shout him off.
After the break things improved. Canadian Wes Zaharuk entertained us in a Tommy Cooper type way with really silly antics using such props as a hoover, some sticky tape and several members of the audience - the funniest being a girl who stood behind him and used her hands to peel him a banana etc. This was absolutely hilarious. So absolutely silly but really funny. He ended up down to his boxer shorts at one point but he was never rude and he didn't swear as far as I remember. He's performing at quite a few venues in London in next few weeks - details on Chuckle website below.
The evening finished with some Greek music, more Ouzo, Greek dancing and plate smashing - not what you would usually find above a pub in Leytonstone. Will definitely go again and might even be selling the tickets next time.