Monday, January 30

Ay Up, It’s Stand-Up: Paddy Young and Adam Flood – Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters

When your Fringe comedy show partner in crime goes AWOL in extenuating circumstances, there’s only one thing for it, keep that show on the road come hell or high water. Poor Paddy Young delivers that blow with comic flourish and the audience isn’t to upset when he promises not one but two stand-in stand-ups.

Keeping to the theme of Northern comics, Tom Little is the perfect tonic. With only about 15 minutes to keep us entertained, he dives straight into some cracking observational humour, remarking ‘there’s no time to connect it’ as he dives from his fear of a watermelon-based diet to the absolute audacity of dolphins. The humour is clever and strikes an amusing surrealist approach thanks to the time constrictions.  Little is brilliantly witty, and it’s a shame that the audience meets these energetic comedy gymnastics with mainly stifled chuckles. 

Katharyn Henson, our next comic surprise, is New York’s answer to Fleabag. From New York to London, Henson boldly take us through addiction recovery and quips about her absent father. Unfortunately, it’s 4.30pm on a Sunday afternoon, and I, never mind the audience, didn’t sign up to hear about someone’s misdemeanours while they’re In Flagrante Delicto. Henson looks to us over her microphone, looking for affirmation. The audience stares back stony faced. At another time, in another place, for another audience, this romp through the deepest caverns of repression is absolute comedy gold. But it’s not here.

Paddy Young finally makes it back to the stage, musing on his life as a Northerner living in London. This afternoon he’s had to juggle being a compère, comedian and producer, not to mention actually juggling. The audience loves Young, and it’s very easy to see why; he’s got us on side from start to finish. And, after this afternoon he’s shown us that he’s got more than enough talent and drive to curate his own comedy shows and maybe even go solo…

Reviewer: Melissa Jones

Reviewed: 29th August 2021

North West End UK Rating: ★★★