Leicester Comedy Festival review: Tony Cowards’ Ewok Circus at Grays@LCB Depot

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Review by Kyran Kennedy

First, the bad news. There were no ewoks to be seen let alone a circus act, but Tony Cowards brought along some friends that were a fair replacement for the fluffy space creatures.

Cowards introduced three up-and-coming acts to kick off the opening night of jokes at the Leicester Comedy Festival, playing host to a relatively small crowd at the LCB Depot.

As a host, Cowards earns himself a gold star, hyping up the acts before they took to the stage.

Sadly, the cheers and excitement generated for the other acts were the peak of Cowards’ own performance, with his own one-liners receiving the odd giggle and even occasional groan from the audience, reminiscent of a dad attempting to make a dodgy pun during tea time.

First up to face the room was Louis CK tribute/parody act Louis Ok. Living up to his name, the bloke from Boston, Lincolnshire, put on a performance that was just that, ok.

While the material consistently started off with a few laughs here and there, it often felt like the ending pun was lacklustre considering the build-up. Louis was also reliant on his notes throughout his part, but generally this was a chuckle-worthy performance from a man a few steps away from a solid act.

2014 English Comedian of the Year, Jack Campbell, is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is rare to say that you got to see a comedian tell next to no jokes in a night and yet somehow still get a ton of laughs.

His act was seemingly over at the first hurdle when the audience offered no reaction to his witty gag, but he used this to fuel the bulk of his time on stage, letting the audience know they’re never safe from being the butt of the joke no matter where they sit.

Regarded as the headliner by Cowards, Stevie Gray definitely earned the most applause of the night. The audience were captivated by the man’s ability to tell an entertaining story and sing a song or two.

Channelling all the energy that most people would struggle to put out in an entire week in to his performance, he could certainly be considered a one-man circus troupe. All age ranges could probably find delight in watching Gray, from children to OAPs.

Overall, not as memorable as the Star Wars Ewoks, but it was certainly worth braving the cold to go and see these lads.

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