Rodborough Hill, Rodborough, Stroud, GL5 3SS | (01453) 755600
The Prince Albert is a lively, award-winning community-focused local pub at the heart of Rodborough in Stroud, specialising in great local ales and entertainment alike.
With a line-up of three top comedians, an exclusive preview of an Edinburgh Festival Fringe show, and local funnyman Nick Page on compere duty, SoGlos headed to Stroud local, The Prince Albert, expecting laughs all round at its monthly Printvend Comedy Night.
The SoGlos team arrived through the doors of Rodborough Common’s quaint Prince Albert pub on a quiet Sunday evening with hopes of laughs aplenty at the monthly Printvend Comedy Night – and we did not leave disappointed.
Hit by an inviting warmth comparable to that of a quirky old aunt’s house, we took to our seats in the gargantuan, brown leather sofas before marvelling at the Aladdin’s cave set before us.
An array of leopard-, zebra-, and tiger-print lampshades lit various knick-knacks and collectables dotted around the Stroud pub, with vintage Mexican movie posters depicting 60s films such as Casa de Mujeres and Operacion Exterminio brightening the rich-coloured walls.
Mismatched bar stools, mini libraries filled with books about Britain, pubs and beer, and resident dog Fernando, aka the ‘leader of the pack’, confidently doing the rounds of adoring locals, all add to the kitsch but cosy feel of this award-winning boozer.
A somewhat frosty reception from the barmaid was forgotten once landlady Lotte entered beaming – armed with bowls of Mediterranean olives, crisps, salty nuts and delightfully tiny marshmallows – and we sipped our well-priced selection of local ales and wine, ready to raise the roof with laughter.
Ex-Frampton Mansell boy and compere for the evening, Nick Page, started proceedings with an intentional uncomfortable silence, before launching into a Vince Vaughn-style, motor-mouth rant at the small group of front-seated hecklers, warning them to ‘be amazing, or just don’t bother’ – much to the delight of the already chortling crowd.
The mixed crowd of trendy twenty-somethings, middle-class middle-aged couples and several ‘salty sea dogs’ erupted into noises of ladies cheering like men, pirate-style ‘arrrs’, farmer-like ‘ooh arrs’ and Chewbacca impressions, before Page introduced the first comedian of the night, Stuart Hudson.
Stepping on to The Prince Albert stage, unassuming and shabby-looking Stuart instantly said what more than a few of the audience were thinking: ‘Gosh, that Daniel Bedingfield has let himself go!’ Right from the off, the slightly pot-bellied and certainly scruffier version of the noughties pop sensation kept audience members giggling, albeit sometimes uncomfortably, as he filled his 15 minutes with dark asides, unexpected puns and ramblings that all add to his sociopathic stage persona.
Think of a creepier version of simpleton Karl Pilkington, add ‘a lot of problems’, and you’ll have something close to what this former Chortle Newcomer of the Year winner is all about.
Next to take to the stage, was the nervous-looking newcomer, Will Scambler. With some effort, the young comic managed to keep the crowd chuckling with the majority of his jokes about dates gone wrong, naming kids after banks and covering everything from Babe Station to Liam Neeson.
Although he may not have exuded the confidence of his older and more experienced counterparts, Will Scambler’s storytelling style went down well, with not a whisper of a heckle heard.
Following a quick refill at the bar, the SoGlos.com team settled back in for the main event and headliner of the Printvend Comedy Night, Yianni Agisilaou.
Having recently changed his stage name to simply Yianni, on account of the fact that pretty much nobody can pronounce his surname, the Australian comedian lived up to his charming reputation, keeping the crowd in stitches throughout his entire hour-long set.
The special preview of his upcoming Edinburgh Fringe show Numb and Number, laid bare his logic-fuelled obsession with numbers – a result of being diagnosed with autism at the age of 33 – in a way that the audience could not only understand but also somehow relate to.
Accompanied by his trusty projected slideshow, Yianni, took spectators on a countdown from 10 to one, with each number representing a theme relating to both the number and comedian himself – covering everything from perfection to being an outsider, racism to wisdom, and symmetry to rainbows.
Having satisfyingly summed the universe down to zero, Yianni’s work was done, and he stepped down from the stage to raucous applause, leaving tears of laughter on more than a few faces in the SoGlos.com team and audience members alike.
So if you find yourself at a loose end on a Sunday evening, head down to the self-dubbed ‘coolest pub in Stroud’ for a mixed bag of guaranteed giggles, if this Printvend Comedy Night is anything to go by.
Tickets are a snip at just £5 in advance or £7 on the door, and there’s talk of pizza promotions on the horizon almost certain to tempt local foodies.
Whether you’re looking to while away afternoon poring through newspaper pages whilst sampling the finest local brews, or a lively evening with friends at a gig or open mic night, you can’t go far wrong by dropping in The Prince Albert pub.
By Shelly Elcock
Friday 03 August 2012
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