Tag Archives: Joe Wells

Laughtermarket Annual Special

4 Mar


Wednesday, February 19 2014: The Old Market

The announcement that a comedian is “trying out new material” usually dampens expectations. When the said act is Zoe Lyons, however, it only heightens them. While the Hove-based performer’s subject matter was far from radical (gay marriage, UKIP and the Winter Olympics all featured heavily) her cutting observations, enthusiastic manner and exquisite delivery ensured this was a typically polished performance.

Likewise, Joe Wells – who impressed at last year’s Brighton Fringe – maintained the high standard with a politically-charged set which, cleverly, was more devilishly deadpan than desperately ranting.

Speaking of the latter, guitar-wielding James McDonnell proved he was the master of cranking up the volume and on-stage hyperactivity. While he displayed some disturbingly funny lyrics, his brazen bluster is best experienced in short doses.

Holly Walsh, by comparison, could captivate a crowd for hours. Half the battle of stand-up is looking like you belong on stage. Walsh might as well pitch a tent on it. There was nothing forced or fake as she skipped through subjects as diverse as her recent marriage, the dangers of schoolgirls booking strippers to appear at Pizza Express and dog poo conspiracies. There’s nothing underhand here though; Walsh is undoubtedly headline material.


Brighton Fringe Review – Joe Wells: Night of the Living Tories

3 Jun


Caroline of Brunswick: Friday, March 24, 2013

He doesn’t mind being called pudgy and he’ll tolerate being classed as well- spoken; just don’t tell him he looks like a Tory boy.

It’s fair to say Joe Well’s visceral hatred of the Conservative Party is as strong as his aversion to dropping his aitches or hitting the cross trainer.

In the debut outing for his Night of the Living the Tories show, Well’s showed why he is one the finest young political comics doing the rounds; he’s bold, cutting and, at times, ruthless.

At his peak he was unstoppable, especially when it came to race. He turned Bernard Manning jokes on their head – cleverly swapping the butt of them from black people to Conservatives – while later brilliantly belittling the ‘The ain’t no black in the Union Jack’ chant so favoured by the BNP and EDL.

The set wasn’t without fault though, not least because Wells had a tendency to resort to simplistic attacks on individuals – Michael Gove and Nick Clegg in particular – that have often been heard before.

And while the finale – a laugh-out-loud take on the voice adopted by so many performance poets – was bang on the money, it felt more like an add-on than a finely crafted conclusion to an hours’ political rabble rousing.

Well’s is well worth keeping an eye on, even if he isn’t quite the full-blown comedy revolutionary just yet.



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