REVIEW: Martin Mor and Luisa Omielan, Sunderland Comedy Festival, Infinity Bar

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SITTING down for a show in a more-or-less empty room is scary.

You worry the acts will flop, no one will enjoy it, and it can be awkward.

That was the concern taking a seat at Infinity Bar on Thursday.

Thankfully though, as the comics took their turn, my fears proved unfounded.

The line-up for the stand-up show, which was part of the first Sunderland Comedy Festival, included seasoned comic Martin Mor, Luisa Omielan, and unscheduled act Rogue Five.

MC for the night, and comedian Steffan Peddie, introduced the acts and warmed up the crowd of about two dozen people, with jokes about his size and the audience – including me!

First to the quaint stage was comedy boy band Rogue Five, which ironically has four members. Lead funny man Romeo got the apprehensive crowd laughing almost immediately with gags about fellow boy band member Keef.

The foursome also induced giggles with some bad behaviour as they welcomed an audience member – who they named Nigel – on stage to give a dance to, and teach some of their moves.

After a break, Martin Mor was up to practice his new show, How Do You Like Your Blue-eyed Boy Mister Death? ahead of the Edinburgh festival.

The former circus performer’s act is centred on a brush with death during a car crash. However, the more crude jokes and a description of a holiday in Mexico produced the most laughs.

Last up was Luisa Omielan, who was honest enough to admit that she hasn’t yet scripted a full performance ahead of the Edinburgh Festival.

No matter, the London lass had the audience in fits of laughter with tales of internet dating and some comic dancing.

It’s a shame there weren’t more people to enjoy this laugh-a-minute line-up.

Monica Turnbull