Laughs in the Park 2011

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laughs in the parkSt. Albans is rapidly acquiring a reputuation as a good venue for comedy gigs. The Alban Arena frequently gets national names to visit and perform. We now even have our very own comedy ‘festival’ annually, with Laughs in the Park. Now I wouldn’t say it is anywhere near Glastonbury’s exalted position in the national psyche, but as it’s only the second year of existence, it still has time.

Like last year, the main attraction is Eddie Izzard, but this year ably supported by Ross Noble and Tommy Tiernan. The compere duties were given to Ross Noble on the day we attended, which worked well as his surreal take on life enabled him to run with ideas and events thrown at him and then bring back ideas and references into later material.

First of the ‘main’ acts was Tommy Tiernan, one of Ireland’s top comedians, but little known over here. A high energy performer that enjoyed running with ideas at breakneck speed. Lots of laugh out loud moments and an impressive set. The usual topics of family, aging and religion got the Tiernan treatment. He wouldn’t be an Irish comic if he didn’t rip into the Catholic Church. Easy target these days, but he was still able to find a few new twists.

Last up was Eddide Izzard, fast becoming a national institution after his marathon heroics of a couple of years ago and all-round nice guy persona. I saw him back in the 90s when he was somewhat infamous for his cross-dressing and surreal humour. I really like Eddie Izzard, but like his 90s shows, I rarely had laugh out loud moments. Very amusing, but not memorable.

laughs fireworksFinally we had the fireworks, withh all the acts wandering through the crowd to get a prime view. They were not disappointed. So overall a good evening out at an event with a lot of potential for the coming years. Food deserves a special mention, varied choices and my burrito was fab. Looking forward to next year already. maybe my namesake Tim Minchin could be added to the bill?