The first ever Portsmouth Big Mouth Comedy Festival was a real hit this past weekend (10 – 11 March) at Portsmouth Guildhall. Well established and up and coming comedians all gave their all to entertain the passing crowd over three stages throughout the weekend. The Saturday saw a special Red Dwarf Q & A with the show’s well-respected actors Norman Lovett and Hattie Hayridge. Norman also performed an Edinburgh preview show beforehand which was well received with fans. Alistair McGowan rolled back the years with funny impressions and entertainment news. He talked about football and snooker as well as doing some great impressions of comedy actor David Mitchell and tennis player Andy Murray.
Saturday also saw the brilliant Zoe Lyson who performed two shows and we managed to catch her Edinburgh preview show as she talked about Mars, technology, ‘entry level humans’. The comedian also talked about politics, her dutch wife and a funny story when she went to the Maldives on holiday.
Jan Evans, Nathan Caton, The Noise Next Door were also among the acts over Saturday afternoon.
Local comedian James Alderson introduced the main stage each night and provided a lot of laughs as he talked to the audience. Also, there was a marriage proposal on Saturday night which was fantastic to hear.
Britain’s Got Talent’s Johnny Awsum took to the stage on Saturday night as well as the wonderful Russell Kane who finished up the day’s comedy with a magnificent set which provided plenty of laughs throughout!
Sunday afternoon saw the fantastic Angela Barnes performing her Edinburgh preview and certainly didn’t disappoint as well as Tony Robinson who provided a special Blackadder Q & A.
Legends of South Coast Comedian Of The Year was held at the Café Guildhall Hosted by James Alderson and the Best of South Coast Comedian Of The Year was also held there throughout the day.
Paul McCaffrey provided a great set in the Harlequin room as he talked about speaking French when he goes to Franch but they can never understand him. He also talked about a Berlin sex hotel he once stayed and parking tickets.
Canadian Tanyalee Davies also performed in the Harlequin room as she talked about going to Florida, fitting into a wet suit and a rather unfortunate story with manatees. Tanyalee also interacted with a member of the audience and talked about swingers and confessed she is more of a squirrel than a cougar.
Barry Cryer and Colin Sell rolled back the years and provided a fantastic comedy music show that was entertainment for all the family.
Max and Ivan also put on family friendly entertainment they provided a lot of miming and American accents to get some laughs out of the crowd. They got a member of the audience up also and the duo held an air guitar competition where him. Max had his own characters and then provided some funny facts about Ivan. There were some brilliant sketches including what a generic stand up comedian does, improv asking members of the audience to name a colour and favourite food as well as some jingles for products.
Once again hosted by James Alderson, the MC made everyone laugh before Andy Parsons took to the stage. The coemdian talked about fitness, technology, expensive trains and the NHS wait. He was very polital on the night with the main themes being Nigel Farage, Donald Trump, Theresa May and Boris Johnson. It was a great set and certainly one of the better comedians over the weekend.
After a quick interval, Seann Walsh took to the stage and he was really great. He talked about getting older and how it is affecting his life. Going to America and how everyone is so friendly out there and that he missed home. Seann also asked a member of the audience keep their phone off as he found it very disrespectful. A member of the audience also shouted out that he had longer than he had, which resulted in around 5 minutes of Seann laughing and talking about it.
Last up of the magnificent weekend was the legend Lee Nelson as he done what does great and that is interacting with the audience throughout the show, He wore a jacket with a tag still on it and when he told a joke he fist pumped a member of the crowd which was classic Lee Nelson. He talked about winning about winning back his other half Amber with a U2 song which he played on stage.
He also talked about how he can’t tell his kid what Brexit is because he doesn’t know either. Lee Nelson asked who was foreign in the audience and spoke to a Swedish person and a French person. Lee Nelson provided plenty of jokes and was a real hit with the crowd.
It was a fantastic weekend of comedy overall and I am sure this festival will be back next year bigger and better!