Apology to comedy fans

A leisure chief has apologised to comedy fans whose night of fun was marred by a small group of noisy customers.

Loud banter between a table of friends at a show in the Winding Wheel, Chesterfield last night (Thursday, December 19) spoiled the enjoyment of others watching the acts performing at the Spotlight Comedy Club.

Cllr Amanda Serjeant, Chesterfield Borough Council’s executive member for leisure, culture and tourism said: “The Spotlight Comedy Club has an informal atmosphere with the audience seated in groups at tables, and with the bar open throughout.

“Unfortunately last night the behaviour of some customers adversely affected the enjoyment of some of the other customers. We are always very sorry when this happens.

“The duty manager and other members of staff spoke a number of times to the noisy table and asked them to quieten down, and also offered to re-seat one group of customers who were unhappy about the noisy table to another table further away from the noisy group.

“We will always act quickly to take appropriate action if and when circumstances such as this arise.”

Headline act Paul Sinha did his best to quell the noisy bunch by jokingly flirting with one of the party which had the desired effect in engaging the group’s attention for a short while but didn’t provide a long-term remedy.

Those of us sitting near the noisy lot were struggling to hear Paul’s well-pitched humour, never mind concentrate on his intelligent stories, when the cacophony of selfish banter between party members rose in volume as the pints were sunk.

A slick raconteur with a gift of knowing just how to get an audience on side, Paul kicked off his spot by flagging up the new additions to Chesterfield since his last visit years ago….an all-night Gregg’s and the Waikiki beach bar.

The born entertainer shared stories of his former life as an A&E doctor stitching up the faces of drunks in King’s Lynn, breaking the news to his parents of his move from medical practitioner to stand-up comedian and how, after 20 years of being single, he was now sharing his life with a drop-dead gorgeous boyfriend.

Tales of girlfriends past and present formed part of smartly-dressed university graduate Ady Knight’s presentation, although he struggled to command the audience’s attention in the way that his successor Sinha did. Ady’s funniest gag was about Ed Milliband seeking his advice on how Labour could gain more votes.

The Spotlight Comedy’s Club’s festive special had something to suit all tastes. Ian Crawford was the piece de resistance for fans of old-school comedians. Passing himself off as a health and safety-conscious cutlery inspector, he spoon-fed the audience delicious morsels of knife and fork-inspired poetry. His extendable chip fork, enabling its user to steal the last French fry from a partner’s plate, brought the house down as did his rap-inspired ditty to a birthday boy from the aforementioned noisy party whom Ian dressed as a giant fork.

Opening act Bobby Mair represented the new wave of comedians - edgy, unpredictable and shouty. With an act that will probably propel him into comedy’s premier league, he played to the gallery with gags like: “I make you laugh but you don’t like me....I tell you jokes but I don’t like you,” and “I want Justin Beiber at my funeral - my death would be the second worst thing there.”

Spotlight celebrates it ninth birthday on January 23 when Patrick Monahan and Nathan Caton will be on the Winding Wheel bill. Better book a front row seat.

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GAY BOLTON