Rufus Hound ran off stage head in hands on Friday night following his Just the Tonic gig at Nottingham comedy club, The Forum.
The Celebrity Juice star was carded as the headline act for a show which also included two lesser known warm-up acts, and things could not have ended on a more awkward note.
Members of the audience were left confused and disappointed after a heckler rudely interrupted Hound’s final joke just as he was arriving at the punch line. By then the joke was ruined, and the comedian was left speechless.
It was indeed a tough gig for Hound, as technical problems meant his microphone cut out on occassions.
At one point he became so frustrated that he threw the mic’ across the stage and proceeded to continue his gig in true Shakespearean style, without the use of unreliable technology.
He went on in this style for a further 20 minutes, until, when building up to his big finale, the heckler who was midway back shouted out “bring back the microphone.”
Fair enough, it was becoming difficult to hear what Rufus Hound was saying, especially when some members of the audience continued to talk among themselves despite the issues with acoustics.
The heckler then accused Hound of plagiarising the work of another comedian, which ultimately was what caused him to lose his thread.
Despite this, things had been running relatively smoothly before hand, as Hound toyed with the crowd and played up to his reputation as an instinctive funny-man with a canny ability to improvise and communicate with the audience on an intimate level.
His material was edgy and close to the wire – but not to the point where anyone watching would have felt overly offended. Having become known for his work on panel shows, it was surprising how adept he was as an actual stand-up comedian.
You could certainly feel the sympathy from the majority of the crowd when the gig ended in the way it did.
Before Hound came on stage, though, the two warm-up acts, John Robbins and Daliso Chaponda were introduced by compère, Darrell Martin.
Bristol-based Robbins performed a short and relatively unfunny set in which he struggled to get the audience laughing too hysterically. His material seemed limited as he moved from one piece of clichéd innuendo to the next.
Daliso Chaponda, however, was a revelation, and turned out to be the highlight of the night. Born in Malawi, Chaponda explained how he had lived in Canada for a number of years which set up a number of immigration and ethnically centred jokes which he delivered with aplomb.
His success, however, came with the fact that he brought great variety to his performance and appeared to be exceptionally well prepared. It would seem he has a bright future as a stand-up comedian and may well be one to look out for in the future.
Overall it was an enjoyable evening’s entertainment. Tickets were only £8 with a valid NUS card and despite the fact that the quality of beer available was exceptionally poor and the food was overpriced, it still seemed worth it.
Had the gig ended on a brighter note, this would have scored highly, but the feeling of disappointment at the end was palpable.
Platform rating: 7/10