A Cheeky night at Florence Arts Centre

Archie Kelly teaches the Florence crowd a thing or two.

Archie Kelly teaches the Florence crowd a thing or two.

By Rebecca Muncaster

Florence Mine Arts Centre hosted a Cheeky Comedy Night on Saturday, October 10.

Headlining was Phoenix Nights star, Archie Kelly, along with three other outstanding comedians: Andy Clark, Colin Harvey and Mark Kennedy.

Just before Archie hit the stage, I managed to have a chat with him. Despite his acclaimed recognition on Phoenix Nights and other popular shows, he joked that most people in the area would be more familiar with him from health and safety videos he did for the nuclear industry.

Initially a singer, Archie confided that being a comedian has ‘more of a buzz’ than other stage professions. His performance, however, did at times combine both comedy and singing which went down a treat with the audience.

He described his own style of comedy as ‘silly and inoffensive’, elaborating that his overall aim is for his audience to have an enjoyable time without hostility, which he did so without fail. His own life experiences – like many comedians – was the focus of his comedy, in particular his years as a language teacher.

The teacher-comedian combo is quite common these days, but Archie’s congenial approach was a refreshing take on the topic. While a fantastic performance, at times his material was outdated – especially with his jokes on Michael Jackson and Osama bin Laden. Despite this minor criticism, his performance was received well by the audience.

The three supporting comics – Andy Clark, a finalist in the ‘So You Think You’re Funny?’ competition at the Edinburgh Fringe; Mark Kennedy, Nandos comedian of the year finalist 2014 and Colin Harvey – were extremely funny in their own right. All three wowed the audience with clever quips, relatable tales and – in Andy’s case – hysterical props.

The night’s MC was local comic John Lebbon. His wit charmed the audience with local banter that easily matched the other performances of the night.

All comedians built a good rapport with the audience. It was a memorable, cheeky night, and I hope another one happens soon.