REVIEW: Fitz of Laughter Comedy Club - Friday April 8, at Katie Fitzgerald’s

BRINGING the biggest names on the comedy circuit to perform in a tent in the back garden of a Stourbridge pub seems an impossible task.

But the Fitz of Laughter Comedy Club continues to persuade the stars along to Katie Fitzgerald’s each month, and this time was no different.

As always, the audience was offered up three guest comedians, all with their very different and distinct styles.

Headliner Nathan Caton, known to many for his regular stints on Mock the Week and Live at the Apollo, is a polished performer and it showed on the night with the audience eating out of his hand and hanging on every word.

His 25 minute set – where he deeply explored the age old ‘your mum’ insults – seemed to speed by, but gave us all a taste of what to expect when he brings his solo tour to Wolverhampton and Birmingham later this year.

Opening act Andrew Bird, who quickly hop footed it over to the Glee Club as he was headlining the Birmingham venue on the same evening, showed all the qualities of a club regular, playfully working with the crowd.

MC, club organiser and local lad Wayne Beese kept the audience entertained between the three courses, but the surprise of the evening came from Anthony J Brown.

I’m not usually one for deadpan one-liner comedy – give me a decent storytelling comedian any day of the week – however the second act of the evening had me in stitches.

Taking deadpan to a new level, Brown was mesmerizing (or “Jesus, he’s so weird” going by one of the people sat on the row in front of me). With his slow, lightly-spoken tones he gave a performance that will live long in the memory.

All three performers were on the top of their game, and for £10 a ticket, the club gives the audience a show that not many venues in the Midlands could compete with.

And how Beese is able to keep getting the quality of local and national comedians to perform in a tent in the back garden of a Stourbridge pub is a wonder; but long may it continue.

Tickets for next month’s club, taking place on May 6 and featuring comedy from Barbara Nice, Hayley Ellis and Ben Briggs, can be bought for £10 at

Dan Sharp