Vasectomies, Vegans & Unruly Nose Hair: This is Torquay Comedy Club
A night full of laughs, tears and a sing-a-long song about a vasectomy… it's safe to say our first experience at Torquay Comedy Club is one we will never forget.
Torquay Comedy Club has already established itself as ‘the place’ for comedy locally; and it’s not yet a year old. Inside the Riviera Hotel (formerly the Rainbow Hotel), we sat amongst a sellout crowd of all ages and backgrounds, eagerly awaiting the night's line-up: Gary Tro (as featured on BBC Radio 4), Jeremy Flynn (nominated for the BBC New Comedy Award), Mark Dennett, Gareth Richards (as featured on Russell Howard’s Good News), and the Comedy Club's regular host, Ben Thurston. Were we a little surprised to see these well-known figures from the comedy circuit in a small Torquay venue? Actually yes… but how fantastic to have this newly founded Comedy Club on our doorstep!
Ben Thurston as host, set an incredible pace for the first comedian of the night, Gary Tro. Poor old Gary gained sympathy from the audience after he told of the troubles of being called 'Gary' his whole life, and exploring the question of why his parents named a cute young baby, Gary? Naively falling into the comedian’s well-laid trap, a gentleman at the front admitted his name was also Gary, and here's where the fun started. An onslaught of hilarious stereotyping of the name and the image of a bald man who grows hair in the wrong places, then led to another audience member foolishly admitting their issues with unruly nose hair: a perfect comedic storm. The set concluded on a relatable piece about new people introducing themselves to a group with their name and an interesting fact; which in 2018 is usually something along the lines of “I’m vegan”. Right on cue, a cheer from the crowd and this vegan became Gary's last victim. The jokes came full circle though when Gary admitted he's a vegan himself. A bellow of cheers and applause rumbled the room as Gary left the stage and handed the mic back to Ben.
Next up was Jeremy Flynn. This Bristol comedian is both witty and likeable. His relatable set focused around his office job, heard cackles from the crowd as he vividly told stories about his co-workers actions. His set was short and sweet, leaving us wanting more as he makes way for the next act Mark Dennett.
As Mark receives the mic, he states "I'm not vegan, and the only thing PC about me is my computer." Mark pushes comedy to the edges, leaving you waiting for an inappropriate punchline. He flirts with crossing the line; his dry mannerisms and straight face became a canvas to paint a graphic picture of his marriage with snappy one-liners soaked-up by the audience.
The time for this evening's headliner then arrived. Gareth Richards took to the stage. His back catalogue of stories from meeting his wife to having kids, left the audience in stitches at his naive life decisions. After sharing his experiences as a father, Gareth then announced that he's had a vasectomy to save his love life and introduced the audience to his trusted QChord - a take on the revolutionary 1980's instrument the Suzuki Omnichord - incorporating basic keyboard, electric guitar and divided into three sections; a touch-sensitive 'strum plate,' a rhythm section and chord button section. In other words, the perfect machine for comedic value! With Gareth on the QChord, we dove into his hilarious original song with the chorus echoing - “I got a vasectomy, so my wife would have sex with me” - the likes of which soon had the audience laughing, clapping and then singing-a-long; what a way to conclude the evening.
Ending on a real high, with people laughing and singing as they left the room, we realise why Torquay Comedy Club has become an instant success. The intimate surrounds, high quality comedy and contagious group laughter definitely leave you wanting more.