REVIEW: Live At The Civic – Joe Lycett, Mark Watson and Jonny Cole (Saturday, February 18)

TOP class stand-up is becoming something of a given in Dudley thanks to MC Wayne Beese and his ever-growing comedy empire, writes Dan Sharp.

With the popular monthly Fitz of Laughter Comedy Club in Stourbridge and a new regular evening starting this week at The Lamp Tavern, Beese already brings a wealth of up-and-coming and household names to the region on the smaller scale.

But Live at the Civic – which this week played to a packed-out crowd at Brierley Hill Civic Hall – is something else.

A perfect venue for comedy and on Saturday night, the audience were entertained with a great blend of local and national acts. All of whom brought something different to the stage which came together to create a stand-up masterpiece.

Headlined by Joe Lycett, one of the most sought-after names on the British circuit at the moment, the Brummie – who was welcomed onto the stage draped in the Black Country flag – had the audience eating out of his hand like the pro he is.

Tales of his struggles with dry January certainly hit a chord with the sell-out crowd Brierley Hill crowd, while his laid-back audience interaction is something that sets him aside from the pack.

Lycett was supported by the evening’s “foreigner”, Bristolian Mark Watson, a common face on our telly screens who left us in stitches with a routine of how he hilariously tried to explain what abortion was to his son.

Opening the show, musician-come-comedian Jonny Cole, was the least widely known of the trio, but he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with both Watson and Lycett.

Armed with his acoustic guitar in hand, he launched into a number of catchy tunes with lyrics based around his beloved Black Country – including his take on the Burnt Tree Island roadworks!

I even found myself singing ‘No Woman, No Sky’ – what happens when an upset missus leaves the house along with the TV remote – to the tune of a Bob Marley classic while making my Sunday roast the following afternoon!

But what was most impressive about the whole evening, is that Beese continues to bring the big comedy names to the region, while intertwining them with brilliant local talent.

If you enjoy stand-up and have not yet been to one of Beese’s comedy nights, what are you waiting for? Hilarious from start to finish – 4 ½ out of 5.

Miss Saturday’s show? The next Live At The Civic takes place on June 24, where comedy ventriloquist Paul Zerdin – winner of America's Got Talent – will appear alongside improv troupe The Noise Next Door and Black Country favourite Doreen Tipton.

For more information about Live At The Civic, or to buy tickets for June’s gig, visit