Howler is a great spot for a cheeky beer before the gig with a quality open area to wait in before the doors opened at 7pm. The theatre/stage area is well set up, with numbered tables for burger deliveries and some large booths at the back for bigger groups. There’s no bad seat in the house with the stage well above eye-line. If there’s any downside to the venue it is the acoustics. While the audience has no issue hearing the comedian onstage, they equally have no issue hearing other punters having a chinwag around the venue or at the bar to the side.
The night kicked off around 7:40pm and featured a packed line-up including Mike Goldstein (MC), Matt Stewart, Laura Dunemann, Demi Lardner, Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall, Angus Gordon and Anne Edmonds.
Mike Goldstein kicked off the night and warmed up the packed house. Mike did well to break the ice with a surprisingly shy audience and was at his best when he pushed the audience’s limits. Matt Stewart followed, full of energy, as he proposed his moneymaking ideas. There is something charming about Matt’s relaxed onstage persona. It helps build rapport but also allows him to maintain control over his set.
Two comedians who took their sets in different directions were Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall (ATB) and Angus Gordon. ATB put forward a revealing piece that provided an eye opening insight into his life. He kept it light and was charming as he showed off more than I was expecting. In contrast, Angus delivered a dark yet understated set. While not my favourite style of comedy, Angus performed jokes at a slow cadence that resonated well even when touching on some left-field ideas.
Headliner Anne Edmonds did well as she returned to the stand-up stage following the success of her television show ‘The Edge of The Bush’. Anne performed honest comedy, demonstrating her experience as she drew laughs out of well-performed characters and some animated facial expressions. Another comedian who drew from personal stories was Laura Dunemann. Laura’s comedy was imminently relatable as she discussed tales of her family. Her style feels genuine and not forced, which makes the reveals all the better.
The standout and personal favourite of the night was Demi Lardner, who closed out the first bracket with enthusiasm. Demi interwove some well-tested material alongside high-energy and eye-catching pieces that received a great response from the crowd. Demi had full commitment to the bits and had the audience fully engaged and laughing.
Check out Comedy Big Time at Howler on the first Wednesday of every month. Follow them on Facebook for more information.