Review: Stellar line-up of comedians wow at Bristol Comedy Garden

PUBLISHED: 11:57 20 June 2017

Adam Hills performed at Bristol Comedy Garden.

Adam Hills performed at Bristol Comedy Garden.


It is not every day you play human Tinder in a room of 1,000 people, or see a prosthetic limb crowd-surf its way to the front of a stage only to be used as an over-sized shot glass, but let’s just say Bristol Comedy Garden was full of surprises…

Bristol Comedy Garden. Picture: Simon PowBristol Comedy Garden. Picture: Simon Pow

I was one of around 1,000 people at Bristol Comedy Garden in Queens Square on Sunday and in typically British fashion the first thing I’m going to mention is the weather. It was hot. I could not deal with the heat. The crowd could not deal with the heat. Compare Mark Olver could not deal with the heat. Australian comedian Adam Hills could deal with the heat, apparently, show off...

But, despite the sweaty brows and sunburnt shoulders, the crowd inside the tent at Bristol Comedy Garden could not have laughed louder at the festival’s afternoon gig yesterday.

On the line-up were Shappi Khorsandi, Kiri Pritchard-Mclean, and Adam Hills, with Mark Olver acting as compare…

Shappi Khorshandi.Shappi Khorshandi.

Shappi Khorsandi

Shappi Khorsandi is a British comedian who migrated to England from Iran as an infant. You might recognise her from appearances on Live At The Apollo and her BBC Radio 4 programme, Shappi Talk.

During her set at Bristol Comedy Garden she took a look at family life, relationships, and how she feels about her ‘Englishness’, making clear she fiercely disagrees with anyone who says she’s not English. To those who say ‘you weren’t born here’ she simply replies ‘neither was tea…’

Shappi was charismatic as she reflected on the nature of ‘Britishness’ post-Brexit, and one particular highlight was her impression of her two young children; one a gentle Englishman who uses humour to try to overthrow authority (his mum) and her daughter a passionate, mini-Iranian with a flair for dramatics.

Kiri Pritchard-Mclean. Picture: Drew ForsythKiri Pritchard-Mclean. Picture: Drew Forsyth

Kiri Pritchard-Mclean

Welsh-born, Manchester-based comedian Kiri Pritchard-Mclean second on yesterday’s bill, and she had me roaring with laughter the entire way through her performance.

The comedian’s set wowed with raucous gags about sexism which included a laugh-so-hard-you-snort tale about a bad experience with a home-waxing kit and another anecdote about how her local Chinese take-away thought she was a prostitute for months because of her frequent late-night visits after gigs.

I’ll admit, I had not heard of Kiri before, but her set ended up as the highlight of the gig for me – she had me in stitches from start to finish.

Mark Olver.Mark Olver.

Mark Olver

Mark Olver could not have been a better host, he had the crowd in the palm of his hand the entire time he was on stage.

One of the highlights of the afternoon was his ‘Human Tinder’ game. He found a young junior doctor in need of a date and promptly started telling men to sit down or stand up in the dating app’s famous ‘swipe left/swipe right’ fashion. The doctor ended up with a date with an Aardman Animation employee, in case you’re curious…

Adam HillsAdam Hills

Adam Hills

Host of Channel 4’s The Last Leg Adam Hills finished the show and he had the crowd in the palm of his hand from the very beginning – even moreso when he revealed the ‘gurt lush’ slogan on his West Country T-shirt.

I am a huge fan of the Last Leg, and of Adam, but I think that almost meant his set had a little less sparkle than for those who may have been seeing him for the first time. I’d already heard a lot of his material watching his previous stand-up gigs, or on the Last Leg, so they lacked the surprise factor, for me.

But, Adam excelled with how he interacted with the crowd and he started his set by reading a series of Tweets. One such Tweet came from Frank who, like Adam, has a prosthetic leg.

In a bizarre-but-funny turn of events, Frank’s leg ended up getting past through the crowd to Adam before Frank hopped his way to the front to meet the comedian.

On stage the pair poured beer into their legs before taking a shot out of them, much to the delight of the crowd.

I would highly recommend seeing any of these comedians whenever you can, and next time Bristol Comedy Garden is in town be sure to check it out.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Weston Mercury. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Weston Mercury