Vagabond Comedy: online stand-up review

Hosted by Jordan Brookes and pals Darren J Coles and Charlie Webster, Vagabond's take on the online comic ensemble remains appealingly chaotic

Review by Emma Sullivan | 13 Apr 2021

There’s a real sense of cabaret at work in the diversity of the performers at tonight's third edition of Vagabond Comedy: a strong showing from musical acts (Huge Davies, Frank Foucault, Siblings) and a nicely ad hoc, offbeat quality to proceedings. There's Sunil Patel, for example, deadpanning his list of ‘ideas’ (‘Best Monk in Britain’, ‘Best Monk in Britain 2’) or Frank Foucault’s similarly eccentric contribution: satirical songs animated by the elusive charm of his persona. Meanwhile Charlie Webster added a touch of vaudeville, drifting through his flat to a love song, lugubrious face wafting amongst the clothes in the wardrobe, in an irresistibly comic manner.  

Helen Bauer seemed to step in unscripted from the audience: ‘Shall I do a dance?’, then chatted merrily with the attendees. Another audience member was cooking in her kitchen, her fridge door covered with magnets as Jordan Brookes fondly remembered his old fridge door plastered with stickers from apples. The always engaging Jen Ives joined us from her bedroom, collage of crushes on the cupboard door behind her, scanning the audience for regulars, and commending those who’d put up their pronouns; a trans woman herself, she doesn’t bother. “I’ve only got space for pushing the brand”. 

Micky Overman struck an enjoyably abrasive note, trying out a bit about Napoleon – but then giving up and wondering if something about her yeast infection would be better. Huge Davies’s songs were also comically bleak. He too muttered darkly about giving up comedy, thinking about weddings instead. 

Rosie Jones and Siblings were more high energy: big name Jones feigning outrage at being pushed into the graveyard slot, and Siblings perpetually, beautifully, on the edge of unspooling. Their first musical skit, a character sketch of a pair of adolescents at a boys-only school, was both hilarious and marked by a genuine moment of pathos, while the second was another attempt at getting through their anthem ‘Rereading Wind in the Willows’ without weeping with laughter.

Intimate, very funny, and quite odd: all in all, pretty irresistible. Roll on Vagabond 4.

The next Vagabond Comedy night is on 17 Apr; tickets £7, available via Eventbrite