Saturday Night Lounge
The Duchess, York
Sat Jan 16, 2016
Hyena Lounge Comedy has been a mainstay of York’s entertainment landscape for as long as I can remember; it often gets the biggest comedy names, in many cases just before they break through into the mainstream.
I have seen Russell Howard, Jon Richardson and Sarah Millican at Hyena over the years.
This week’s line-up was as strong as I have seen anywhere recently. Our compere for the evening, Phil Ellis, is all awkward charm.
Dressed like Jarvis Cocker’s slightly less cool brother he engaged the audience nicely, allowing for some fun banter, letting us find the punchline ourselves for a bigger laugh.
He brought out stalwart of the comedy scene and frequent contributor to Radio 4’s The Now Show, Mitch Benn. Benn brings a physicality to his performance, which on the radio obviously doesn’t matter, but in person adds to the act.
A tall, stocky man who looks like the prototypical geek, he performs intelligent, catchy comedy songs with a geeky twist. I struggled to follow one or two of the more complicated songs because of a rowdy group sitting near me who weren’t interested, but Benn is a man not easily rattled!
I’d like to see him do more TV. Well worth seeking out if you get the chance.
The middle act was Dominic Woodward who I didn’t know much about, but was pretty funny. his material was much more ‘McIntyre’ like, all about the mundanities of buying a house. He definitely appealed to a broader audience than Benn, although I found much of his set familiar – maybe generic would be a better word.
After a break, (during which the rowdy group left thankfully) Phil Ellis introduced us to our headline act, Carl Hutchinson. Regular YorkMix readers will know I’m a fan of his, after seeing him support Mick Foley at the Barbican a while back.
He brings an easy Geordie (ish) charm to the stage, and although his set was beset with technical issues he covered well, keeping the audience on side and telling some very funny tales.
Hutchinson will be making inroads soon into the public consciousness: young, good looking and funny, he will be on your TV a lot in coming years!
A solid line-up and a central venue mean Hyena will continue to be a strong option for the comedy fan in York for a long time; they have some excellent upcoming shows, check them out…