Top comedians bring laughter to Latitude

Review: Sean Lock, Rufus Hound and Jo Brand, The Comedy Tent, Sunday.

Sean Lock, Rufus Hound and Jo Brand, The Comedy Tent, Sunday.

THIS trio should be well enough known to viewers of virtually any televised comic panel game over the last 10 years. Sean Lock, for instance, I first remember from Have I Got News for You about five years ago.

Here, though, although his laconic, easy-going charm was on display as usual, he was a slight disappointment. That's not to say he wasn't funny - "They say a woman's work is never done - perhaps that's why they get paid less" - but spent most of his set listing things he did not like, which seemed something of a paradox given his affable tone.

His delivery was a problem too. His quick-witted charm was at times too quick, particularly given that he was competing with some neighbouring rock stages.

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Rufus Hound, at least, did not have that problem in that style and content matched perfectly. Although he will probably be remembered in the popular zeitgeist as the Man Who Sank Top of the Pops, here he was in his element.

Even if the subject matter tended towards the scatalogical (he recounted the time he asked three sexual health clinic nurses about the weirdest thing they had ever found in a vagina) his slower, more measured voice was much more suitable.

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And he did come up with the neatest one-liner ('They call this the Latte-tude festival', making reference to its genteel and ecologically-sound credentials) and two-liner ('What's a racist zebra's favourite band? The White Stripes') I heard all day.

With Jo Brand, however, I am hard pushed to remember any specific jokes but you know exactly what you will get with her - a marvellous line in self-deprecation, plus a lot of talk about weight, exercise and men.

She also provided a bit of balance so the humour was not all from a male perspective - although her targets did include Paula Radcliffe. Recalling the time she was in a charity race with her, she said she would try to outdo her - by having a poo very quickly.

She was so totally confident she even got the entire audience inside the tent to sit down (apart from one young man, of whom she said 'Don't worry, your'e not old enough for me to hate you - yet.') Complete mastery of material and crowd.


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