Leadmill Comedy Club – 5 August 2015, Leadmill, Sheffield


ithout my annual Edinburgh Fringe Festival comedy adventure this August, I decided to look closer to my new home in Sheffield for my laughter fix and headed a short walk from my house to The Leadmill Comedy Club for its monthly comedy night, which takes place on the first Wednesday of every month.

Straight away I proved I’ve never been a student in Sheffield, as couldn’t even find the venue without the help of my boyfriend’s directions and then couldn’t work out how to get in, but inside the atmosphere was definitely 90s nightclub (with indie soundtrack thrown in) alongside tempting nachos (I had to give in) from the city’s Mexican finest The Street Food Chef.

But what about the comedy? The August line-up was headlined by Jeff Innocent (whose role in 90s brit flick “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” inspired the title of this blog post). An East End rough diamond and son of a real life villain, Jeff turned his back on his family business in the 1970s eventually finding his way to stand-up comedy, where he has won the Time Out Comedy Award. Very honest, intelligent and happy to say it how it is, Jeff not only lived up to his geezer attitude but was also by far the funniest comedian of the night, even if he does look like a Jewish Bruce Willis (his own words).

Jeff’s support was meant to include winner of the Leicester Mercury Comedian Suzi Rufell, however for an unexplained reason she was replaced by Marlon Davis, a young but honest comedian who covered his culture, education and encounters with racism with sincere comic charm.

Joining Jeff and Marlon was the half English-half Chinese comedian Matt Fong who has been making people laugh on stage since 2012. Not to everybody’s taste in the audience, it was definitely clear that Matt had the attitude, belief, confidence and experiences to go far in the comedy scene,

The compere for the evening was Liverpool comedian and Perrier Award nominee Simon Bligh. Focusing on encouraging the audience not to have children (unlike Marlon’s description of his son which did the opposite), Simon failed to be controversial but used his traditional Scouse comedy style to made especially the men in the audience nostalgic for their school days, their first snog and their first fondle (made me grateful that my experiences as a woman were very different).

Well worth attending, and great value at only £5 a ticket, The Leadmill Comedy Club looks like it will become a regular monthly home for me. And if you have a urgent engagement that means the first Monday of every month is out, I highly recommend booking for Joe Lycett (a comedy panel show regular for good reason) on Thursday 1 October and (not just for geeks) the informatively side-splitting Festival of the Spoken Nerd (who I enjoyed live on stage at a Sci-Fi convention in Wales in March) on Wednesday 18 November.

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