Review | Boutique Comedy Club at The Beacon, Southsea: 'What’s not to love?'

It’s Boutique Comedy Club’s first show since last March. And as The Wave Maiden, their previous home, has closed down in the interim, this is also their first night in a new venue.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 8:57 pm
The founders of the Southsea-based Boutique Comedy Club. Sunjai Arif, Hetty Austin and the top of Joe Wells' head. Picture by Al Wincott
The founders of the Southsea-based Boutique Comedy Club. Sunjai Arif, Hetty Austin and the top of Joe Wells' head. Picture by Al Wincott

So when the PA dies right before showtime it’s not the most auspicious of starts.

But after a mercy dash to find a new PA, the show does go on, just a little later than publicised.

Sunjai Arif is a deft compere, keeping things on track and revealing some embarrassing stories about the acts – but only after they’ve performed, the man’s not a monster!

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Plus he undeniably has some of the most beautiful hair in the business.

If there is an inadvertent theme to the evening it’s the many facets of a mother’s love.

First act up is reigning Guide Award winning comedy act Hetty Austin who riffs on the joys of moving back home as an adult, her boyfriend’s gaming obsession, and how, according to her mum, one’s kindness is related to an individual’s hirsuteness.

This is followed by Jake Young who threads his set with the tale of how, as an identical twin, his mother refused to tell them who was the oldest until they turned 18. This is tied to an ’80s hair metal classic and a hilarious/disturbing lap dance – depending on whether you’re the recipient or not.

Just don’t ask him about human biology.

Headliner is Joe Wells, who comedy-wise had a great pandemic after a clip about his ‘non-autistic brother’ went viral online, opening new doors for him.

And of course, some of that material gets an outing here, but now with added context about how his new-found ‘fame’ led to being pursued by The Mail Online.

Joe’ relationship with his mother and why she never told him until well into adulthood that he is autistic forms a significant part of this well-told tale.

The club has a great track record of highlighting acts on their way up – several of their previous headliners have gone on to appear on BBC’s Live at The Apollo.

The next one is October 14, back at The Beacon – so if you like laughter in intimate surroundings, what’s not to love?

And yes, I am still marvelling at how Hetty’s mum eats corn on the cob.