COMEDY SHEEP: CHRISTMAS LAUGHS | COMEDY REVIEW
O Neil’s, Cardiff
Sunday, December 4th
Comedy troupe Comedy Sheep brought some Christmas cheer to O Neil’s earlier this month following their massively successful show in Cardiff’s Glee Club during the summer, which was filmed for Made in Cardiff TV. In a turn of events, Leroy Brito took over as MC and Ignacio Lopez was the tonight’s headline act.
The upstairs in O’Neil’s was transformed into a Christmassy haven, with fairy lights, tinsel and baubles decorating the makeshift stage.
Leroy came to the stage to introduce all of the acts, and took some time to talk about what Christmas is like for a single father, doing what he does best and somehow bringing a touch of humour to some of the tougher issues in life, including Alzheimer’s and the situation in Aleppo. He’s risky at times but never crude and always uniquely observational.
First act introduced was the darkly jolly Rob Hughes. Rob uses his quick wit and one liners to discuss married and family life. Not to be dismissed as just ‘Dad jokes’, his comedy is intelligent and insightful and he somehow manages to be filthy in a PG manner. For example, comparing physical relations with his wife to having lasagne for dinner every night of your life. At times his intelligence surpasses the audience and he gives them a few seconds to catch up, but once they do it’s met with roaring laughter.
Next up was an appearance from London-based Athena Kugblenu who offered her thoughts on being a woman with dreadlocks, wolf calling and exploring everything from race to tampons. She’s very much a woman’s comedian, which is tough in this largely male occupied industry, but she stands strong.
Following Athena on the line-up was Chris Chopping. Having mostly seen Chris perform as MC it was a new experience to see him do his own set. He manages to be self-deprecating and exude confidence in equal measures. Chris’ rapport with the audience is what makes him stand out. He can use the audience like a tool and can turn any response or heckle to his favour.
Headline act Ignacio rounded off the night in what felt like a Christmas story telling corner. He gave his take on the differences betwee Welsh Christmases and a Spanish Christmases. The thing about Ignacio is that he has the confidence to go with the silence of the audience. He doesn’t need constant belly laughs, he’s a natural born story teller and builds steadily to his laughs. Ignacio finished his set with some musical comedy, treating us to a special Christmas parody of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit. Ignacio has a gift; even when he’s insulting the audience he’s somehow charming.
Leroy did a fantastic job aS MC. Something tells me he’s more comfortable with just getting up there and doing a straight set but practice makes perfect and he seemed to ease into the role as the gig went on.
It truly was a festive treat and a great way to kick off the holiday season.
words DENIECE CUSACK
photos MICHELLE HUGGLESTON PHOTOGRAPHY