Review: Lava Elastic Christmas Comedy Night, 14th of December

An array of minced pies greet the perspective audience; mulled cider and apple juice are inside. Manic Minatour, a Brighton card and gift brand, has left colouring books out. It’s time for December’s Lava Elastic performance, complete with paired-down Christmas vibes.

Host Sarah Saeed begins the proccedings on Friday 14th December with an explanation of neurodiversity; Lava Elastic is a diverse comedy night, with the emphasis on participants being neurodivergent. (The theory being that there is no such thing as “normal”, and that everyone’s brains work differently.)

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Hannah Brackenbury opens the evening with her musical comedy; her parody song, a mash up of Next To Me & I Need A Dollar, about tea is very catchy. Lines include: “If I share my hobnobs with you / will you share your cuppa with me.” Laughter gently ripples through the audience with strategic clapping.

“Love letters” is a particularly funny song, if sexually explicit and a song about Brackenbury’s dislike of the i360 completes the set. Brackenbury will be performing at Brighton Fringe next year. Rebecca Turner is up next, with her slightly surreal spoken comedy set.

Sophie McKay, a relative newcomer to the comedy circuit, is next; she infuses her set with puns about fuses, and also takes on the issue of ghosting. She also tells us about her pets; stick insects don’t really compare to fluffy dogs, do they? After all, “they just snap.”

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William Stone closes the first half; with his dry humour, he almost speaks in couplets, adding a faster pace to his set. He also experiments with more unconventional takes on what may be considered mundane topics; we are told that his father was a funeral director. “Nothing you would have seen.”

Sha Wylie opens the second half; she is older than the usual age range of the participants, but by no means less funny. She is the slightly mouthy (read: bluntly funny) Grandmother, the whip-smart comedian, unafraid to tackle what is often unspoken.

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Katherine Aitkinson is the second before last act; she is the antithesis to every act so far, striking a more somber note. Her humour is more deadpan: “Got any parents in?” (Audience responds.) “‘You don’t sound happy either.” Facebook memes are demolished; other themes include the cost of raising children.

Johnny Wardlow finishes the evening, with his off-beat take on just about everything. The room we are in is both a fancy media-type room for creatives, but also a car park, once you look at the celling. Once you see it, you can’t un-see it.

Read here for 5 reasons everybody should see the Lava Elastic comedy night.

Written by Lydia Wilkins

Photos by Peter Williams

The next Lava Elastic will take place on February 15th 2019.