Fundraising gig a comedic success

Jo Brand Stands Up for Hastings Pier, White Rock Theatre, Hastings, March 30. Review by Eric Harmer.

Saturday’s fundraising gig at the White Rock Theatre was a massive success, and a treat of comedic excellence for the people lucky enough to get one of the 1,066 seats available for this one-off fundraising show.

Jo Brand topped the bill; also appearing were Angela Barnes, the winner of BBC Radio 2’s New Comedy Award 2011, and Quincy, a London stand-up comic who also presents, writes and acts.

The show sold out very early, and at £22.50 a ticket raised a large amount of money for the pier fund.

All the comedians gave their time and talents free of charge to support this worthwhile cause.

Actress and comedian Doon Mackichan presented the pier poetry competition winning entries, all of which were of a very high standard.

Some were moving and some very funny.

The evening started with a sound system problem. For the first 10 minutes it was hard to hear the first act Angela Barnes, but after that blip the evening flowed without a hitch.

Quincy, the next act was full of London attitude, talking about relationships and family problems, and was very funny although someone in the audience took his stance on disciplining his kids far too seriously.

Quincy came back very quickly, laughing at the comments and telling them that he could not be too long on stage as the kids were in the car. That got applause from the audience.

Top of the bill Jo Brand did not disappoint.

She came on stage in her typical outfit of black sweatshirt, black trousers, and the obligatory boots.

Jo came on with a laid back air of confidence talking about her times as a teenager in Hastings, taking her own very individual comedic look at local newspaper cuttings and stories, and also engaging with the audience in very witty conversations.

The audience was totally in the palm of her hand and enjoying every word.

She also talked about her family, some of which still live locally, and about her husband, some of which was tongue in cheek - very cutting.

All in all a great evening was had by all, and for a great cause.

One of the best things about the evening was that the atmosphere was right, and everyone wanted to have a good time including the audience and entertainers.