Axolotl Laughs hosts a room at Ernest, in which comedy virgins can test the water that they are about to dive into. The night was hosted by James Wilkinson and Rosie McMahon. Wilkinson seemed to take the lead role, undoubtedly due to his stronger comedic ability. He held a strong presence on stage, keeping the audience gripped by his quirks, stories and theories.
His material was strongly self-depricating, questioning things like his decision to go into comedy. He made the point that comedians usually tend to waffle and improvise on stage, and that he was going to try it. His set was experimental.The trough of the night was Rosie McMahon’s slot. McMahon’s performance felt uncomfortable. Throughout her set, she followed her cues by reading from her hand, held tight body language, and repeatedly began punchlines by saying ‘literally’ or ‘technically’, in an attempt to make the joke funnier.
The peak of the night was Joby Mageean. This local comedian’s charismatic presence accompanied his witty humour. Mageean will go far with his impeccable timing; he has mastered the skill of telling entertaining narratives whilst covertly inserting one-liners. Its surprising he isn’t a bigger name in the comedy scene.
As the night continued, I realised that it was predominantly a place for these comedians to practice and attempt new gags. The room was barely half full due to its lack of promotion. Perhaps this was deliberate. Maybe these comedians need this space to separate their strong funnies from their weak ones.
I wonder if this evemt will grow anymore than it already has; however, Axolotl Laughs has potential. Free entry, a cool atmosphere, and one of a kind in Newcastle.