Alfie Brown and Ivo Graham



Ivo Graham.These two young stand-ups have joined together to deliver an hour-long show as part of the Five Pound Fringe. It's worth checking out, as they both look set to go onto bigger things quite soon. Taking place in a comfortable room in The GRV, So You Think You're Funny? winner Ivo Graham takes the stage for the first half-hour, and he's then followed by his fellow Lunchtime Club alumnus Alfie Brown.

20 year-old Ivo Graham possesses some impressive stand-up skills. His delivery is thoughtful, carefully timed and technically excellent - it's especially impressive when you realise he only decided to start his comedy career last year. Thankfully the young comedian has got some great gags too - mining laughs from the relationship he has with his younger brother, amongst other topics. The Eton and Oxford-educated comedian's best joke is about his A level results - we won't spoil it by repeating it here, but it's an awesome joke.

Considering the quality of many of the gags, it's disappointing that Graham didn't always manage to elicit big laughs from the audience. It may have helped if he'd spent a bit more time warming up the audience first perhaps, before launching into the prepared set, as the ambience in the room wasn't perfect for laughs at the start.

Alfie Brown had absolutely no problems building the energy in the room for his segment. He bounds on stage with supreme confidence and gets the crowd fired up in a matter of moments. It worth pointing out he does this without bothering to use the microphone at all - it's a powerful opening!

Alfie Brown.Given the high-energy start, what then followed was interesting and un-expected. Alfie Brown moves into an unhurried, low-key, very intelligent long-form routine about the massive odds against human existence. Sadly, on the day of this review, despite a great build-up, the audience completely missed laughing at the big end pay-off though, and this clearly threw the comic.

He continued on with a couple of solid routines - including a twist on a Shakespeare that had the room laughing so much it brought the show to a halt for a moment. However, towards the end of the show's hour, it became noticeable that Brown wasn't quite getting the reaction to some of the pay-offs he was expecting again, and this began to distract him.

With about five minutes to go, the comedian appeared to ditch the rest of his prepared routine and instead moved into conducting improvised banter with the audience. This was a good recovery option as Brown clearly has a quick wit and can think fast on his feet. To further cement the recovery, he ended the show with a unique and clever apology. They say a comedian should never publically acknowledge when they've lost the audience as there's then no chance for redemption, but Brown admitted so in such a bold and funny way the audience more than overlooked the earlier issues.

In summary, whilst not everything went right on the evening this review was conducted, by the end of the Fringe this show could be into five star territory. Either way, with tickets just a fiver, it's definitely worth seeking out these two very talented young comedians.

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