Live Review: Musical Comedy Awards Final 2019, Bloomsbury Theatre

This year's WeGotTickets Musical Comedy Awards final, hosted by Nick Horseman, might just have been the highest standard of any of their finals yet. In its eleventh year eleven acts competed and half a dozen probably deserved a placing. 

First up was Paul 'Silky' White, who started with a tribute to Ian Cognito, playfully hammering a nail into the wall as the late comic used to do at gigs, saying that he was opening with a "cover version". I don't think the nail left a mark but Silky certainly did with a couple of very catchy, memorable comic songs, with clever lyrics that went this way and that and kept you guessing. Although the subject matter was topical, it wasn't a particularly innovative act – for seven minutes Bloomsbury felt like a 1970s folk club hosted by Mike Harding – but there were certainly plenty of laughs.

The Dragprov Revue was a very different kettle of fish, coming from the cabaret circuit, but actually they also combined the old with the new. Like Showstoppers The Musical the duo set out to perform a whole new musical based on an audience suggestion. The challenge here was doing it in just seven minutes. And they just about managed to pull it off after getting the title "Ooh Spooky Grave". After impersonating ghosts and headstones and a "sense of impending doom" – all to music, remember – they rounded it off with the spirit of a dead geography teacher living on. Like Silky, thoroughly entertaining and they might have been even better if they'd had a little longer.

Blond-haired Jamie Finn came on to a big cheer but took a bit of time to get going and was worried that his guitar was not plugged in properly. It was worth the wait though as he had a neat song about being constantly mistaken for someone famous. The idea of being a lookalike is a standard comedy trope these days but Finn did it well, putting it into a storytelling structure that had a hint of Flight of the Conchords about it. The only odd thing – apart from the fact that he only did one song and finished with time to spare – was that his list of lookalikes didn't include Chesney Hawkes who he really could stand in for.

Katie Pritchard (pictured) has been a bit of a comedy competition regular recently, reaching various finals and winning a recent laugh-off at 2Northdown, so perhaps it was no surprise that she was bursting with confidence as she rattled through her extremely silly musical version of history complete with cheap D-I-Y props. The formula was broad, having historical characters singing pop/rock classics with new lyrics, but Pritchard injected such a sense of fun into the proceedings i thought she was going to get a standing ovation at the end. She didn't, but the judges (including BTJ) certainly approved. Pritchard can now add a Musical Comedy Award to her ever-growing trophy cabinet.

Huge Davies has been making a name for himself on the circuit for a while now, with solo gigs and providing quirky musical backing for other shows. His tight seven minutes was an impressive showcase for his deadpan, rug-pulling songs and stories. This tall man with a keyboard hanging from his neck like a cross between a piano and a medallion is once seen never forgotten. Which in some ways might have counted against him tonight as his material was very similar to material I'd seen him doing in another competition a while ago, so there was little element of surprise. For those new to Huge though, he is undeniably talented and has a great future ahead of him.

Review continues here.


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