Review: Comedy All-stars with Sean Hughes, Ava Vidal and Romesh Ranganathan at Barton Hall, Horndean

Hats off to Led Zeppelin performing live. Picture by Trev Earl

Doffing the cap to one of the all-time greats – Led Zeppelin – at The Spring in Havant

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Romesh Ranganathan is a miserable soul.

But fortunately his misanthropy is shot through with a mordant wit as he rails against all and sundry, and explains why a cheeseburger is the ultimate insult to a cow, while trying to take the moral high-ground as a vegan.

Ava Vidal is up next. Her caustic style doesn’t bring as many belly-laughs, and can knock you out of your comfort zone - the piece on arguing with her Jewish boyfriend about which has been most persecuted (Vidal is black) is brutal but hilarious. And you wouldn’t want to be her children. Or any of her exes. Or even her friends - all are grist to her fabulously dark humour mill.

But the undoubted star of the night was Sean Hughes. Giving us a full hour instead of the expected 25 minutes, he is able to give freer reign to his flights of fancy.

And so we get his songs for One Direction’s and Justin Bieber’s new political direction.

There are rants on modern life, a bit of poetry, a one-way love affair with a lad called Rhys in the front row and how he couldn’t cry at his dad’s funeral, but ended up in tears during a MasterChef quarterfinal - a show he doesn’t even like.

His promise to finish with a sad story proves to be nothing of the sort, but it does build to a suitably surreal climax with Snow Patrol playing on the PA and bread being thrown into the crowd.

It was a real pleasure to watch such a pro in full flow.

As the self-described ‘comedy glue’ holding the night together, compere James Alderson was also on fine form. It was clear he was enjoying himself nearly as much as the audience.