Rich Hall/Mike Wilmot, Colosseum, Watford

Pitting Rich Hall against Mike Wilmot at the Watford Colosseum sounds more like a job for a boxing promoter than a comedy one. However, rather than a baying mob witnessing a gladiatorial battle, a couple of hundred spectators in a hallway watched as two competent pros punched a little under their weight. The relative adversity of being outside of the main 1,440-seater venue was naturally exploited to the full. "Welcome to the room across from the Colosseum," announced Rich Hall wryly, beginning an enjoyable number of jibes at its expense.

To muse on what sized room comedy should be performed in is to open a can of worms but good comedy will fill the space provided, and Mike Wilmot duly did his job of warming up the audience and space-filling.

The 41-year-old Canadian comedian had the perfect demographic to spout about caravans and laser eye surgery and to play the dirty uncle to a 14-year-old boy in the front row. This amused the boy's parents, while those parents who didn't bring their children laughed even more easily. It is on matters of the flesh that Wilmot really lands his blows, and he came out fighting for the start of the second half of the show. He grabbed the audience by the throat and whatever else he could lay his hands on and delivered a small, well practiced, tour de force on sexual discovery and disappointment.

Wilmot and Rich Hall have found themselves travelling in the same vehicle on a few occasions before this tour, namely the 2002 Edinburgh show Pretzel Logic and BBC4's Rich Hall's Fishing Show. Though I would question the performance dynamics of this duo, they have no doubt bonded over their membership to the ever-growing club of North American comedians who have found their craft appreciated more here than in their homeland.

Not that home is ever too far way for Rich Hall, who jets between the UK and his native Montana. Nor is it far from his act, where he plays upon the comedy opportunities afforded by the Bush administration, while his alter ego, Country Crooner Otis Lee Crenshaw, literally synthesises this disdain for the American way ("good things come to those who wait, but shit turns up immediately") with some homegrown wisdom, of which the song "Pockets of Resistance (on the Trousers of Democracy)" is a good example.

Tonight's format allowed Hall to be both himself and Otis (but solo Otis, stripped of his backing band The Black Liars). Personally, I would have preferred one or the other, and Otis's comedy ballads came off less well than usual in the wake of Mike Wilmot's strong second-half set. Nevertheless it is always worth seeing Rich Hall - his material is both endearing and enduring. Catch them all (Mike, Rich and Otis) at bigger venues near you.

Arts and Entertainment

game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers

Arts and Entertainment
The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

George Osborne confirms Star Wars 8 will film at Pinewood Studios in time for 4 May

film

Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’

North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama

TV

Arts and Entertainment

Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington plays MI5 agent Will Holloway in Spooks: The Greater Good

'You can't count on anyone making it out alive'film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living