REVIEW: Jason Cook's Comedy Club, The Customs House, South Shields
Tales of married life, moody teenage kids and waiting times at the pharmacy made for another cracking night of comedy.
As excitement for the first ever South Tyneside Comedy Festival builds, Hebburn funnyman Jason Cook returned to the Customs House on Saturday with yet another line-up of top comics.
The bi-monthly evenings continue to sell out, and with regulars and new faces each time, word is clearly spreading about what a fantastic night out it is.
Paul Tonkinson was first to take to the stage. As a regular support act for Michael McIntyre, the comic is perhaps more used to playing to arena crowds, but he was on top form in front of the Customs House audience.
His stories of family life, from his teenage son with a gangster rap attitude to the way his menopausal wife acts when she's let her hair down by having a drink or five, went down a storm.
His impression of his drunk wife dancing around the living room after a night out had me in stitches.
Canadian comic Allyson June Smith was next up. Tales of her new life in Manchester, including getting mugged, found humour in typically awful situations.
She also chatted about her dream of being a singer and her distaste for the artists in the charts these days. Her impression of Britney Spears was both absolutely spot on and hilarious.
Jason's regular News From The North spot was brilliant. He took the big talking points of the moment, such as the shooting of Harambe the gorilla, and had everyone creased. It's been a much-discussed topic in recent days and not one you'd imagine people would laugh at, but Jason managed to find a humorous angle to play with.
He also discussed the upcoming EU referendum, and his suggestion that the North East should defect from the UK really caused a stir. People whooped and cheered as he suggested we become our own nation, dubbed Howayistan.
A usual News For Babies spot sees fellow Hebburn star Steffen Peddie join Jason on stage in a onesie, bib and bonnet, but this time there was something new.
News For Lasses saw Steffen don a dress and snot green wig as he chatted about the latest fashion trends and the audience gasped for breath as they tried to process the image.
Phoenix Nights star Justin Moorhouse closed the show and went down an absolute storm.
The loud comic delivered his material with a hilarious ferocity.
Tales of his childhood in callipers leading up to his recent hip replacement had everyone on his side and laughing along with him.
A side-clutching moment came as he talked about men in a mid-life crisis taking up cycling and people in the audience pointed out their friend who was doing exactly that. He even had the clippy-in shoes.
His admission of having a favourite child and his harsh-but-accurate tale of the wait in the pharmacy had everyone nodding in acknowledgement as they roared with laughter.
It was yet another fantastic night from Jason and his comedy pals.