Dry Wit – 19 November 2019, Theatre Deli, Sheffield

Review by Daniel O’ Key.

“Embarrassingly, entering a boozeless comedy gig sounded as appealing as entering car wash with no windows, but Dry Wit laid any concerns to rest. Organised by Drink Wise Age Well, the show was entertaining and surprisingly reassuring, reminding us that good comedy holds up when one isn’t three sheets to the wind. Hosted in an always-reliable venue with a stacked line-up, the beer barrels were thankfully the only dry entities during the evening.

The friendly staff showed audience members to their seats and offered a delicious mock-Mojito, which certainly offset the derriere-punishing seats and chilly temperature within the building. Doors opened at 19:00 and the event started at 19:50, which felt rather late, however this didn’t completely diminish the buzzing atmosphere within the packed venue. 

Compere Anthony J Brown, fittingly, had a delivery more parched than the plains of Israel. Full of misdirects and comedic contempt, he decently up the crowd with musings of his wife, dress sense, Sheffield and the Lord-Of-The-Fly’s-lite rivalry between its two universities. Unfortunately, audience members were tasked to write captions for the show, in a raffle between acts. Brown did a noble job of keeping the audience as invested as possible, but sadly the bit never took off with the audience, which after the already slow start caused the show to drag.

A piano to Tim Minchin is what a guitar is to Christian Reilly. His music and witty wordplay garnered the biggest laughs of the evening. Using his guitar to point out the potential emotions and minor racism in one chord (which was dead on, the audience knew what Japan “sounds like” before he hit string) to hilarious results. His range of impressions from Bryan Adams, to the everyday gravy-chugging northerner were highlights. I wasn’t sure whether to be disappointed or thrilled that he didn’t do a vocal impression during his Donald Trump number, but the political satire was appreciated considering our current fiasco.

Archie Kelly also satirised hot topics of today, including sexism and education, to riotous results. Fans of Phoenix Nights were doubtlessly happy, as were fans of Mock The Week and Live At The Apollo, as Jo Caulfield was the headliner. Her brand of humour concerning social mishaps and over-indulgence of alcohol made for a great closer to the evening.

Anthony, Christian, Archie and Jo made for a very solid night of comedy, even the overly long running time could not stop them. Drink Wise, Age Well held a successful event, in a pleasant venue with fine entertainment. Keep a look out for any events they cook up in the near future.”

For further information on Drink Wise, Age Well Sheffield visit https://drinkwiseagewell.org.uk/about/where-we-work/sheffield/, like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DrinkWiseAgeWellSheffield/ or follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DWAW_Sheffield

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