Sunday 2 October 2016

Review: Grinning Idiot at Newcastle St Dominc’s Club

Grinning Idiot
Newcastle St Dominc’s Club
Saturday 1st October 2016

The Grinning Idiot’s monthly residence at the Shieldfield club is rapidly becoming a highlight of the comedy connoisseur’s calendar. Tonight’s show hit the spot with 3 great comics wrapped around with the affable MC David Hadingham.

David Hadingham
Photo: Carliol Photography
In a loud, brightly coloured shirt the MC David sets the tone for the evening’s fun. It is an adult show in so much that there will be bad language and some jokes will go near the knuckle. If your only experience of comedy is the highly sanitised Live At The Apollo then live comedy may require some adjustment. Indeed one chap on the front row admits it is his very first comedy gig and at the end he confirmed he really enjoyed himself. What makes live comedy wonderfully visceral is the audience reaction and the comics response to that reaction. We’re not necessarily on about heckling, it could be the type of laughter or sudden exclamation as the crowd suddenly recognise the situation. Somehow that wonderful three ring circus has never been properly captured in a TV recording in a huge venue.

Kate Lucas
Photo: Carliol Photography

The first act up was Kate Lucas. Armed with a guitar, and quirky funny songs, she quickly won the audience over.  After asking me if I liked my son she proceeded to sing a song about the nightmare of not liking your baby and wanting to give it back. Tongue-in-cheek humour on topics such as over reacting when you find toast crumbs in the butter, hating mundane office jobs and haunting your partner after death were delivered with a zeal that the late great Victoria Wood would have been proud of.

Sean Turner
Photo: Carliol Photography
Next up was Geordie comic Sean Turner. His humour is, at times absurdist and surreal, he was just as good as American legend Steven Wright. The moment when he diffused his difficult jokes by singing a song in a club-land style was Reeves and Mortimer at their finest. It was a thoroughly entertaining spot.

John Fothergill
Photo: Carliol Photography
The headliner, John Fothergill, has moved from his native North East to London and he started his set compering the two areas. It is clear that moving away has given him a strong appreciation of the  city he left behind. Sharp, witty one liners ensured he had some of the biggest laughs of the night. He left the room on a definite high.

Sometimes with a comedy night you feel that “two out of three good acts ain’t bad”. Tonight’s show was different. We had 3 top comics that kept the room filled with laughter. Job done.

Capable MC David Hadingham reminded the audience that the next show is on the 5th November and will feature Geordie-legend and oscar nominee Dave Johns. Having first witnessed him in action at the Tyne Theatre Comedy Café back in the 90s, we can strongly recommend picking up tickets for the next show. Dave will be joined by MC Karen Bayley, Steve Shanyaski and Nicola Mantallios Lovett. Tickets are also on sale for shows on the 3rd December and New Years Eve – which has NETG favourite Gavin Webster.

This review was written by Stephen Oliver the North East Theatre Guide – follow Stephen at @panic_c_button

Future shows are listed at  

Photography is by Joanne Oliver of Carliol Photography -


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