Three cheers for comedy: Huzzah Comedy Night at the Jericho Tavern

Huz·zah (hə-zä′) interj: Used to express used to approval or delight

Despite this being its fifth installment in Oxford, I knew very little about the Huzzah Comedy Night that had me Jericho-bound on Tuesday evening. To my approval and delight, what was on offer that night was a wonderfully bizarre mix of performances that all varied (as any amateur night invariably will) in their confidence, subject matter and delivery. There was an element of amateurism that pervaded the entire night much to the enjoyment and benefit of all who attended; gags sometimes missed the mark but the audience was receptive and involved to an extent that any tension from such lines was quickly dispersed.

I arrived at the Jericho Tavern on Walton Street before the show and was warmly welcomed by Russ Mulligan and Anna Dominey, who run the night together. Mulligan, wishing to provide another outlet for comedy in Oxford, got started last year but at first struggled to gain the attention of the University’s students until he met and recruited third-year Worcester student Dominey. Both performers themselves, it was easy to see their enthusiasm for comedy and eagerness to bring together comics from Oxford, as well as more seasoned names from around the country. As the acts began arriving, we were joined by headliner Elf Lyons, happy to regale us with anecdotes about the dangers of performing completely naked and dodgy corner shop whiskey. One suspects the two may have been linked…

Lyons’ set was equally amusing, and she combined intimate autobiographical accounts with relentless energy to great effect. Other notable acts were Harry Househam, the St. Hugh’s first-year who despite the fact that this was only his 10th show and his constant reminders that he was underprepared for this set, seemed very much at home on stage, and Mulligan himself, whose Harry-Hillesque appearance was at odds with his patient, often dark delivery.

At only £2 entry-fee, this night is well worth the time and extortionately-priced drinks. One thing is for certain when deciding what to do on a Tuesday night – you are much more likely to hear someone exclaiming “huzzah!” at Huzzah than “wahoo!” at Wahoo.


PHOTO/ David Hallam-Jones