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Review: Red Raw at Newcastle Stand

Carry On Laughing

Red Raw
Newcastle Stand Comedy Club
Wednesday 9th August 2017

Red Raw is the evening in which up to 10 acts do a short set and try out new material. Some of these will be new, others are much more established. In the past we have found the quality no more variable than many comedy nights and for just £3 it is a bargain.

Indeed on one previous occasion we enjoyed a certain Frankie Boyle as the headliner, who proceeded to perform a full set and try out the new material for his arena tour.

The website warns “We hold back 150 tickets for sale at the venue door on the door on the night – please note that due to massive demand, tickets sold on the door are limited to one per customer. It’s advisable to be there for doors opening as this show regularly sells out!” To be honest we expected a mid-week session in August to be fairly quiet however we got the last couple of seats 20 minutes before the show started. We witnessed people cutting it fine without tickets being turned away and those with tickets having to stand. Clearly an early arrival is recommended.

Host for the evening was MikeMilligan. The Gateshead based comic had obviously spent a fair bit of time observing the local charvas and got plenty of laughs out of it. A good host is able to keep the energy up in the room between each act and Mike did a great job of that.

The first act consisted of four more acts. There was much observational comedy. Perhaps the slickness of Michael McIntyre was replaced with genuine honesty and the show was no less funny for that. With a show with 9 acts in total it does feel like a lucky dip. The short sets mean no one hangs around too long if they’re not your cup of tea. Each act gets laughter but the whole point of a try out night is to try stuff out.

We had John McDonald discussing the birth of his latest child, Nick Cranston highlighting life with disability, Stephen Waller was having fun in Brussels and poor Amy Vreeke has just graduated with a Theatre Studies degree and found herself working in an office. It was Stephen’s first show but you’d never had guessed.

The second act opened with Darlington’s Adam Cowley followed by Alphabetti’s Lauren Stone who used to provide sound effects in a circus. The laughs then continued with Matty Reed plugging his panel show which is happening on Sunday with a bit of audience insults thrown in.

The final headline slot went to John Whale. When he was at his most surreal he reminded me of the great Steve Wright (the comic not the DJ!).

So after 2.5 hours we had many laughs and left the venue much happier than we started it. For £3 it had been a success and that probably explains why it was the only venue in Newcastle that was sold out tonight.

Red Raw happens every Wednesday at the venue on Newcastle’s High Bridge. Details of the host and headliner are usually given on the website: advance tickets can also be bought through the website too.

Review: Stephen Oliver.
Disclaimer: The noise of the cheering as each act came on does mean we may have made a mistake with the acts names. Apologies if that's the case & we'll happily correct them!

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