I feel slightly unfair in critiquing a clown working as a warm-up act but I found this one slightly fascinating due to the venue in question (the Royal Albert Hall) and the clown in question – Steve Hall was formerly one third of the truly exceptional “We Are Klang” sketch troupe.
This is a man who knows comedy and can clearly write quality material, with credits for Russell Howard’s Good News and A League of Their Own on his clown card. The thing that stood out for me was just how end-of-pier his comedy felt – gags about the Brighton marathon being the hardest to run ‘because you’ll get bummed if you slow down’, how Australian his wife is and the ‘Skype-bang’ craze that is apparently sweeping the nation just didn’t deliver… Although I did enjoy the visual of his cum face looking a bit like Dean Gaffney getting tasered!
Despite his obvious talent, the Royal Albert Hall seemed like too big a venue for this clown. Ironically, the central stage with an audience on all sides seemed to confuse his ring-work and highlighted just how great a presence a comedian has to have to truly own this space.
I would very much like to give Steve another shot in a more intimate setting but on this night, for me, he truly illustrated the gulf between the great and the good in comedy
Clown Stars: * * *
@Royal Albert Hall, London