THE first anniversary gig of the Fitz of Laughter Comedy Club certainly lived up to its name after leaving the audience - and myself – streaming with tears of joy.

What we were offered by the three guest comedians and MC Wayne Beese was more than enough to brighten up a cold and wet Stourbridge Friday night.

The club has announced a tantalising line up of comedians – in a now monthly slot – to perform in the intimate marquee of the popular Irish pub Katie Fitzgerald's, and kicking off its second year was the brilliant headliner Matt Richardson.

But before Matt appeared on the stage, with his youthful energy and exuberance, resident compere Wayne Beese set the scene for the evening.

Wayne immediately clicked with the audience – which was helped by the fact that he seemed to know most by name – as he performed between acts.

His playful back and front ‘banter’ with the crowd extracted tales which were beautifully built upon by the acts he preceded.

Lee Kyle, the first of the guest performers, was a good starter for the main courses which were to follow from ‘edgy’ South African stand-up Cokey Falkow and headliner Richardson.

Cokey is the kind of comedian who will divide opinion, with his racy jokes and borderline slapstick performance – reminiscent of Canadian star Tom Green, but I will certainly be on the look-out for him again.

Then came the headline act. I had enjoyed Matt previously as the comedic foil to the loveable Caroline Flack on a previous series of ITV’s Xtra Factor.

The Xtra Factor is not a programme which I would usually watch but Matt was the show’s shining star, and I was overjoyed to see him named as the headliner of the club’s anniversary gig.

Matt did not disappoint, even if he did start by making some (frankly truthful) digs at Wolverhampton – the city where I was born and bred.

He doesn’t seem to have time to think, as his tireless energy produced joke after joke (mostly on the topic of his parent’s overly sexual relationship) keeping the audience in a constant flux of laughter.

By the end of Matt’s 30 minute set, and following two-hours of hilarious stand-up which I didn’t want to end, I could feel the tears falling uncontrollably down my face.

Comedy has never come close to music in Stourbridge’s entertainment nucleus, but with a regular club like this in the town, we might be seeing a change in the tide.

Tickets for next month’s club, featuring comedy from Love Island narrator Iain Stirling, Vince Atta and Kelly Kingham, can be bought at


Dan Sharp