Reviewed by Catherine Joyce
This afternoon (Sunday 28 May 2017) we went into Preston to the Guild Hall to see the first of a new idea for the town, comedy shows just for kids. Hosted by local comedian Phil Walker, the show was around two hours long, including a short interval and starred El Baldiniho and Howard Read. We both enjoy comedy shows but this was the first time my 11-year-old son and 9-year-old nephew had been to one. They both enjoyed the Christmas pantomime that Phil wrote and starred in so we thought this would be a good way to introduce them to comedy and a nice way to spend a bank holiday afternoon.
Phil welcomed the audience and got everyone warmed up with a quick game of Simon Says and a rendition of Cry Me a River that the children loved especially as it involved spraying half the audience with water!
He then introduced the first act of the show to the stage, EL Baldino a “larger than life” magician. The boys thought his opening trick, pulling a great length of ribbon from his mouth was really impressive. Some of his jokes went straight over the children’s heads which may have been intentional but helped keep the adults interested. Moving quickly through his tricks he encouraged audience participation bringing one excited boy onto the stage to assist. We thought this was one of the funniest parts of his act and had our boys in fits of laughter too.
Prior to the interval, Phil invited the children to come to the stage and write their favourite jokes on a piece of paper. Almost every child in the theatre rushed down to share their joke and then after the interval four jokes were drawn and the children invited up onto the stage. Phil had a great rapport with the children and really pitched his act at their level.
Howard Read then took to the stage and started with a game of “real” Guess Who. During the interval he had chosen a couple of members of the audience at random and drawn cartoon versions of them. We all had to stand up and the children narrowed down the options by asking questions – “does he wear glasses?” “Does he have brown hair?” etc. This was really fun and encouraged everybody to take part in the show.
Howard continued with more madness including plenty of the obligatory fart jokes which had the boys and the rest of the children giggling loudly. The children enjoyed every minute of his act and decided he was their favourite.
This was a great show and both our boys really enjoyed it. It was a great introduction to comedy and we all had a really good time. Phil has created a great show that will appeal to both children and adults and with more shows planned for the summer holidays it is a great way to keep the children entertained.
Comedy For Kids is back at the Preston Guild Hall on 29 July 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit www.prestonguildhall.co.uk or call the box office on 01772 804444.
The Guild Hall & Charter Theatre, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 1HT | 01772 804444