Culture Editor Benedict Vasquez reviews the Birmingham Footnotes’s most recent Halloween special finding it be an impressive display of a wide array of talent

Written by Benedict Vasquez

One of the joys of being at university is how much there always is going on and how easy it is to throw yourself in; to walk into a café, find something you may never even have known you had an interest in and get involved. The Birmingham Footnotes embody this freedom. Having taken place at the Indie Lounge this Monday, doors were open to anyone and as soon as you walk into the room, you’re thrown straight into a group of like-minded people receptive to a good time and comedians willing to indulge them. It’s so amicable that you feel right at home from the beginning of the night.

What set this Halloween stand up special apart…was its array of talent

What set this Halloween stand up special apart from other comedy events was its array of talent. Rather than having an opening act and a single stand-up comedian, we were treated to 7 different stand-up comedians, eight if you include host Matt Vernalls who warmed up the audience with a witty set about cowboys; from the get-go the night is a promising one. The diversity of comedic styles on show was the appeal of the night, each comedian as strong as the last, just when you were sure that the night had peaked the next comedian would uphold the standard, keeping the audience engrossed. With seven different sets you run the risk of over saturating the night, you can have too much of a good thing after all, however the night was conducted with a great deal of finesse. Each set transitioned quickly into the next and no one comedian overstayed their welcome, on the contrary we were often left wanting more. An impressive display of professionalism from a group of comedians, all par one of which were performing their first ever set in front of an audience.

The comedians knew what their audience was there for…providing two hours of relatable university humour

Each and every comedian brought the energy to the stage, one thing is performing in front of a full room of strangers, the other is in front of a crowd of your own university peers. Anxiety must have been high, especially with those who were freshers and yet they never lost their nerve, calling out the audience for any weak responses and showing their surprise at particularly strong ones. The comedians knew what their audience was there for, had faith in their material and managed to do it justice, providing two hours of relatable university humour.

I can imagine any of the seven comedians I saw that night going viral, and suddenly showing up on my for you page with their new sets, and it has me looking forward to seeing what they achieve in their next few years performing around Selly Oak. I can’t wait to see what they’ve been working on come their Christmas sketch show.

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