Jongleurs Comedy Club at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth is putting on a run of Christmas nights – with a suitably festive menu to go along with the laughter. And on Friday, December 19, they’ve got four fine comics on the bill.
From writing a punk-zine at sixth form college, JoJo Smith has, via a stint as a music journalist, bingo caller and features writer for the Evening Standard, gone on to earn herself a reputation as one of the filthiest and funniest comics on the circuit.
Jojo began her stand-up career at an open mic spot, and has since managed to follow a wide variety of routes on the comedy roadmap – she presented her own late night chat show, wrote a novel, and performed all over the globe.
Over the years, she says her act has moved away from ‘the filth and the fury’ of her youth, and she now describes her material as more real, more honest.
But James Rampton, of The Independent, wrote in a review: ‘JoJo Smith is a rollicking good stand-up, but she is also so blue she makes Jo Brand look like one of the nuns in The Sound of Music.’
Joining her on the bill is Canadian comic Allyson Smith. This former schoolteacher was wowing her home country crowds from the moment she abandoned her old career in 2000.
Her credits include her own hour-long comedy special on Canadian television, writing for CBC Radio’s hit show The Debaters, and her third showing in the prestigious Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival.
Since heading over the water, she’s proved popular on this side of the pond too .
She supported Stewart Francis on 2012 theatre tour, leading him to say that she ‘reminds me of a younger, prettier, funnier me.’
Since reaching the final of So You Think You’re Funny? 2004, Rob Collins has gone on to become a very much in demand act on the UK and Irish circuit as both compere and stand-up comedian.
However, early last year, he was taken to a psychiatric hospital, convinced he was Jesus. He was subsequently diagnosed as bipolar, and like all good comics, turned the experience into a show for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Fellow stand-up Adam Bloom said he was ‘one of the most natural comedians I have ever seen.’
This festive bill is rounded out by Patrick Monahan, who will be hoping he goes down better than he did when he appeared on ITV’s celebrity diving show Splash! earlier this year, where he was eliminated during his heat.
But as an Edinburgh Fringe veteran and with plenty of TV appearances under his belt, he’s got lots of experience.
Doors open 6pm, last entry is at 7.30pm, show starts at 8pm. Tickets cost £40.
Go to jongleurs.com