A Bucket of laughs for Preston Guild Hall

Katie Mulgrew
Katie Mulgrew
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Comedy club nights can be a real mixed bag and leave you either crying with laughter or cringing and willing the comedian on stage to give it up as a bad day and go home.

I’ve been to Frog and Bucket comedy shows where all three comedians on the line-up are utterly brilliant, leaving me clutching my aching sides and wiping the tears streaming down my face.

But I’ve also been to comedy nights where some of the acts have been so-so and others where one or more of the comedians have been absolutely dire.

The hit and miss nature of comedy is all part of the fun and, more often than not, the comedy shows I have been to have been cracking nights with quality acts.

However, the pressure to deliver a great night was on, and organisers and audiences at the first ever Preston Guild Hall Frog and Bucket watched with bated breath to see if the Frog’s winning formula would continue after making the jump to its new home.

I have to admit, I was 
dubious about whether the new venue would be suitable for replicating a comedy club atmosphere and I was unsure if the Guild Hall foyer would work.

However, any concerns I had were completely unfounded as from the moment I stepped through the doors, it was clear the foyer was perfect for Frog fans to enjoy the laughter they had become accustomed to.

Set out with tables in the same way as the former Frog venue used to be, the Guild Hall foyer was transformed into the ideal cosy comedy haven.

Phil Ellis was a superb compere and his banter became more hilarious as the night went on, with him achieving almost as many laughs as the acts he was introducing.

Danny McCloughlin kicked off the comedy acts and his likeable personality and sharp wit struck a chord with the crowd.

Katie Mulgrew, left, was a breath of fresh air and her unflappable and vivacious personality had the audience eating from the palm of her hand.

She seemed to enjoy every second on stage as she recounted all sorts of funny tales including anecdotes about her dad, Jimmy Cricket, and her 40-year-old friend who has an 18-year-old boyfriend.

Last but not least was Irish comedian John Lynn who was hugely entertaining and made you feel like you were having a chat with a mate down the pub.

He is a natural stage performer and his melodious Irish accent makes his tales even more compelling.

If the new Frog and Bucket nights continue to offer comedians of this calibre, the format looks set to be a resounding success.