Comedy review: Dave’s Comedy in the Dark @ Frog and Bucket, Manchester – October 7

By Ed Owen

The Frog and Bucket hosted Dave’s Comedy in the Dark yesterday, plunging comedians into complete darkness and into a journey of laughs and shocks.

It started out excellently – a friendly welcome from the doorman and an apt playlist featuring classics like ‘Dancing in the Dark’ and ‘Paint It Black’.

All signs clearly pointed to an enjoyable evening,  yet there was a nagging feeling of opportunity missed – while the comedians were uniformly excellent, few decided to truly grasp the challenge of performing in the darkness.

The only one to truly use the unique situation as a comedic device was Marcel Lucont, using the lights up, lights down routine to shocking effect.

He also took great advantage of the heightened sense of sound, using his French-accented delivery to create interesting and hilarious mental images.

Still, the night – roughly an hour and a half long – ran at a good pace, superbly compered by the aggressively camp and pink-blazered Tom Allen.

His ability to deliver pithy put-downs as well as keeping the audience on-side was outstanding, even when denied the comfort of actually being able to see.

First act Dave Morgan’s ability to paint a picture combined well with his fast-paced and enthusiastic speaking-style, as he used his gay identity as a springboard for fun.

What could’ve been tired and clichéd was done well, as Morgan’s observations and cynical humour created a jovial atmosphere.

Up next was the impressive Lucont, followed by headlining act Rob Rouse.

Suffice to say, he didn’t disappoint, and once he got going he used his momentum well – references to his wife’s pregnancy proved particularly amusing.

All this was aided by audience participation – the darkened room liberated them to interact – free of accountability – in increasingly witty ways.

However, Lucont aside, the other comedians treated this as if it was any regular gig, giving the darkness only a momentary mention before continuing with their routine.

So while this was an excellent evening, the night could have benefitted from further interaction with the dark a little more – after all, this wasn’t a regular situation, and was therefore particularly ripe for comedy.

But still, a very enjoyable night, and keep your eyes and ears peeled for Comedy in the Dark next year – it’s bound to be back, and better than ever.

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