In the wilds of St Albans you can find Comedy in the Yurt in the Blacksmith's Arms on the last Wednesday of every month. It features up and coming comedians, a lovely local audience and an unusual performance space bedecked with fairy lights and a pot plant. It beats most of the dingy cellars comedians tend to frequent, but bear in mind it is an unheated yurt; bring a blanket and you're guaranteed a good night out.
On the night of 27th April the yurt was impressively full, despite the apocalyptic weather raging just the other side of a thin sheet of canvas. The crowd seemed cold but happy and MC Lee Wilson managed to build a good atmosphere making jokes with the locals and greeting newcomers by name. It really is a very friendly night.
The evening kicked off with Nigel Lovell who gave us an affable set with plenty of word play and his local knowledge endearing him to the crowd. Fiona Ridgewell got lots of laughs with her take on other people's kids and her personal grooming routine (or lack thereof). Jack Brooks had some lovely material early on in his set but his nerves seemed to get in the way of him building a rapport with the audience which left things quite flat. I doubt this was his finest performance.
The second half started strong with a pleasingly filthy take on the ageing process from Sandra Hale.This was followed by a fine performance from Yuriko Kotani with her wry observations on the idiosyncrasies of British life. She has a delightfully skewed view on the world and knows just when to drop the F bomb for maximum effect. Rounding out the night was Dave Green who managed a lull in enthusiasm (possibly due to frostbite) and won the crowd back on side with some well crafted jokes and breezy self confidence. The set itself was quite mixed, with surreal stuff sitting alongside observations on everyday life and even a bit of 'poetry' but it was a lot of fun throughout.
Comedy in the Yurt is a great night out with a friendly, loyal audience. Just remember to wear your thermal underwear.