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Review: Darlington Comedy Festival – Chris Ramsey and Jason Cook

The Darlington Comedy Festival is a chance for comedians to showcase their latest shows on an audience before the trip up to Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The first ever festival saw big names come to the town such as Sarah Millican, Patrick Monahan and Andrew Lawrence, though did they save the best until last?

Having completed filming of their recently-commissioned sitcom, Hebburn, Jason Cook and Chris Ramsey both took to the stage at Inside Out, Darlington to give onlookers a taste of their upcoming comedy.

Despite the fact he’s not performing at the 2012 Edinburgh Festival, Jason Cook came to Darlington to work on material for his show in 2013.

Describing his appearance as a “lesbian skateboarder,” Jason Cook took to the stage and was quick to get the crowd laughing with stories of how he regularly holds the camera for close friend and fellow performer on the night, Chris Ramsey.

Jason Cook brilliantly engaged with the audience as he got to know a number of the onlookers.

Originally from Newcastle but now living in Manchester, Jason went on to talk about his experiences as both a husband and dad, such as the time he went to an aquarium, where he made an analysis of the different types of fathers.

Jason also told of the times he was shopping in IKEA with his wife when he came up with the “It’s Not on the List” song and the differences between mums and dads returning from a night at the pub – which went down well with the Darlington crowd.

Overall, while Jason Cook’s set felt quite unstructured (which is understandable as it was only tester material), it was thoroughly enjoyable to watch and provided many laugh out loud moments.

Chris Ramsey was next to take to the stage, welcoming the crowd and explaining that the show was a preview for his new material.

The South Shields comedian brought a foam die which he threw into the audience. Whoever caught it would answer questions from Chris.

The point of the exercise was for Ramsey to learn something about the audience, but to also act as a bit of a warm-up and it went down a treat with the onlookers.

Once he had got that out of the way, Ramsey began his routine by explaining how lucky he felt to be born and alive in a first-world country and how altering a number of factors in his family and surroundings could have changed that.

While the comedy fell flat at this point, the onlookers were holding on to every word and Ramsey certainly gave them something to think about.

He then went on to tell of the time his dad caught him… straightening his hair and a scene at last year’s Edinburgh Festival when a man dressed in a Captain America costume had bad odour.

For his finale, Ramsey talked about the time he went skydiving. He described the experience in great detail before going on to show a recording of the skydive. The routine had a moral at the end and proved to be a great way to round off a fantastic evening in Inside Out.

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