Leicester Comedy Festival review: Mad Ron – Talking to Millennials

Review by Tyler Arthur

As the annual Leicester Comedy Festival gets into full swing, Mad Ron, the self-proclaimed third hardest man in Uxbridge, returned to the Exchange bar with his new show ‘Talking to Millennials’.

This time last year, Mad Ron appeared in ‘The One Liner Show’ alongside other comedians who take a much more short and snappy approach to their comedy.

The eponymous hard man is a character who, in his first ever solo show, sets out to educate his audience on the good old days, and calls the millennials to a life of crime, instead of pursuing the ‘menial distractions of work and responsibility’.

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MAD RON: ‘The third hardest man in Uxbridge.’

The spoof motivational speech from Ron – who took home third place in the 2019 NATYS, a prestigious comedy New Act of The Year competition with previous finalists including Russell Brand, Jack Whitehall and Stewart Lee – was held in the small cosy venue in Leicester’s city centre, on February 11.

Mad Ron opened the show with his stand-up and was off to a strong start, this is what he does best. The pacing is varied and works well, and his jokes hit the spot – some more than others, naturally, but the crowd was engaged, and the style was unique and objectively funny.

Tales of his criminal past and objections to the ways of millennials living their young lives in the modern age, with the plagues of technology and vaping, provide unpredictable punchlines, and often multiple for the same joke. This is something which the comic could build on for some absolute killer material. The ability to have the crowd laughing, pause, and then deliver another line to add another, which is even funnier, is so powerful in the world of stand-up, and for someone only three years into his comedy career is really promising.

IMG_1024The key thing which Mad Ron has on his side is the material. His jokes are his strength, and the delivery is good, which means that no matter what he does, there is potential in his work. Halfway through the show, there was a movement to crowd-involvement, which wasn’t anything special, and which also introduced the guest comedian, Sarah Crowden – an actress who is making her way in character comedy as ‘Dame Theresa Thompson’s-Gazelle’.

Dame Theresa is a character who very much builds her act around double entendre and innuendo humour, which got a few laughs from the friendly crowd. The stylised grandma character, with an amusing costume admittedly, can make it slightly uncomfortable. The difficulty of a character which is shoehorned into the naughty innuendo comedy is that if a crowd doesn’t find one joke funny, you’ll likely miss on all of them. That obviously works both ways, and in the audience in Leicester it got laughs from many people who enjoyed the low-brow humour, but there may be a need for more depth to the jokes from the act.

Finally, Mad Ron returned and brought back the second half of his stand-up act, which picked up where it left off and regained the pace which the show started with, and some more brilliant punchlines concluded the hour.

The hardman comedian showed once again that he has real potential, and that his jokes – many of which resembled that which he showcased last year at the festival – are damn funny. The primary thing to ask of Ron is just to keep working on material. The slump in the middle of the show was there solely because an hour of pure stand-up doesn’t exist yet; but when it is, I’d pay to see it.

There is no doubt in my mind that Mad Ron isn’t done yet, if he continues to write and build on the act that he already has, he is set up for a really good show. Next time he appears at the Leicester Comedy Festival he will be able to lean more on his main set, and he will have any crowd in stitches – only half due to laughter.

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