COMEDY REVIEW: The Eighteenth Comedy Night That Passes the Bechdel Test @ Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle (31.08.19) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Liberty Hodes & Lauren Stone


Alphabetti Theatre is the spiritual home for the weird and wonderful in terms of local arts projects, and this delightful comedy night fit right in its homely bosom.

Differing from the club-comic culture that dominates most comedy circuits, The Eighteenth Comedy Night That Passes the Bechdel Test was a unique and welcome alternate take on a night of stand-up. Hosted by the charismatic duo Lauren Stone and Liberty Hodes, their natural improvisational styles of hosting made the crowd feel relaxed and created an honest relationship between the audience and the performers. The pair explained the unique name and proved that they were, indeed, passing the Bechdel test by having a conversation between themselves about tomatoes (wherein no men were mentioned).

Making a space for female and non-binary performers as well as the sort of alternative comedy not as often welcome in atypical ‘club’ settings, …Bechdel Test more than succeeded in its aims. The night officially began with Liberty Hodes performing an opening set before introducing the first act: Alison Heywood-Hill. Both Alison and the comedian to follow, Rosie Cole, shared charm and energy, though touches of inexperience shone through, there were really special moments in both their sets. The return from intermission saw Lauren Stone give a set of her own and, certain of her own character and so sure of her comedic voice, present a well-written and wildly enjoyable set. She was followed by two more acts, including their headliner, Seymour Mace, who gave an energetic (if a little intense) performance. The night achieved its goal in creating something unique and the division from the standard was refreshing.   

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