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Comedy editor Robin Morgan rounds up heat one of the Welsh Unsigned Standup Awards

I remember it as if it were only 9 days ago. Because it was. The Welsh Unsigned Standup Awards: Heat One was set up by Scott Fitzgerald of Cardiff Comedy, and the prize is to support Rhod Gilbert at St. David’s Hall. And they’ll chuck you a grand for your troubles too.

Now we’ve got all that history out of the way, I can begin to tell of a story about WUSAHO. It’s catching on. WUSAHO.

Nos Da was the venue, downstairs in the Riverside hostel, and laughs were had. I don’t have the official number of laughs, but it was certainly more than seven.

The six hopefuls taking part in the WUSAHO were Dan Mitchell, David Steele, Taylor Glenn, Dean Burnett, Adam Henderson and Benjamin Jenkins. Except that that Jenkins fella didn’t turn up. The tension was unbearable; I had to leave the room. And then return, since I was one of the judges. (Did I mention that? I’m very important.)

If you don’t want to know who went through, look away now. IT WAS DAN, TAYLOR AND DEAN.

Us judges achieved consensus fairly easily — the three stole the show. Dan overran his ten minute slot, but was deemed to be punished enough to have to cut his set short, as well as issues regarding time-warnings. It’s all very behind-the-scenes, but don’t worry, these little kinks will have been ironed out for WUSAHO 2: WUSAHO Harder. Dan opened the night off with childhood – and Welsh-centred – anecdotes, which were warmly received, and put the night in good stead.

Taylor finished off the first half with her self-deprecating American material that the audience lapped up. She held her presence as the only female comic on the bill with ease.

Dean opened up the second half of the bill with strong material, coupled with timing that is only a few iotas off perfect. All three held the room with ease, but the question is whether they can hold the attention of St David’s Hall in a few months time. We shall see.

The three acts proceeding towards the next round have shown what the competition has to offer, and have raised the bar at a lovely high level for the rest of the competitors.

So yes, that’s my spiel for what it’s worth. This shall become a regular thing if it doesn’t get slandered or the Daily Mail finds it offensive. I don’t want to start another Sachsgate, but then again, to my knowledge I haven’t shagged and bragged about someone’s grandaughter.

Which is a nice way to sum up, isn’t it?

The Welsh Unsigned Standup Awards take place at NosDa. The next four heats are Mon 26 April, Mon 24 May, Mon 28 June, and Mon 5 July, doors 7.15pm. The semi-finals take place during the Cardiff Comedy Festival 2010 from Sat 17-Sun 18 July. The final is on Mon 19 July, and the winner will receive a cheque for £1000 and appear on the St David’s Hall bill in the Festival Finale on the Mon 26 July.

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