There’s no denying that Portsmouth and its surrounding areas are really thriving when it comes to comedy.
That is in large part down to one man, James Alderson.
Be it compering his many shows or embarking on his own solo tour later this year, the local funny-man is never far from a microphone, and rightly so.
James Alderson Presents is another night of laughter, thanks to the cheeky chap. His audience interactions are always hugely popular and he clearly had plenty of regulars in.
Headliner Jen Brister cancelled due to illness but the crowd were treated to a staggering five acts, all trying out their latest material.
Jon Pearson recounted the woes of living with his mother-in-law and her 75-year-old Tinder boyfriend. Steve Hall talked about parenthood perks including a very unfortunate bath time incident and his son’s tantrum when he couldn’t take a teabag to nursery.
Paul McCaffrey, always fantastic value for money, tried out a whole host of new material including bench pressing his way into the doctor’s with piles. Julian Deane concluded the evening with talk of keeping fit – ‘I’m a vegan, if you don’t hate me enough for vaping’, anecdotes about his daughter and a raft of one-liners.
However, Troy Hawke stole the show for me. Emerging in a bright pink kimono delicately holding a feather, his opening act was highly original. His knowledge of Scrabble values was hilarious and impressive in equal measure while his heckle comebacks were amongst the funniest I’ve seen.