Review: Cardiff Open Air Festival Presents Stand Up in the Park

*Thanks to Cardiff Open Air Festival for review tickets.

Last night I headed to Cardiff Open Air Festival: Stand Up in the Park with one of my very dear friends. I adore this festival for so many reasons; firstly, it’s inexpensive compared to average theatre/comedy shows, secondly, it’s lovely to be out in the fresh air, and thirdly, last night was in aid of a very special cause.

Review: Cardiff Open Air Festival Presents Stand Up in the Park

Comedy is very much a personal experience, so my thoughts and opinions are very much my own. There will probably be lots of people who feel very differently, so please comment below (respectfully, of course!) if you attended and you disagree- after all, that’s the beauty of diversity!

This was a night of discovery for me, both in terms of comedy talent and charitable causes. Amnesty International were in attendance, fighting for the rights of Nazanin. Nazanin has been sentenced to five years imprisonment in Iran and she has been separated from her husband and daughter in the process. Please check out this short video all about Nazanin’s story…

Comedy

The show kicked off with the fantastic MC Clint Edwards. He was fantastic throughout, with his full on energy and balance between comedy and seriousness in the form of Amnesty’s plight. He was amazing upon the stage, and the audience were really responsive to his form of comedy. I thought his high energy performance was fantastic, and I’d love to see him perform again in the future.

It was lovely to see two female comedians join the line-up, but unfortunately neither of them hit the funny spot for me. Kiri Prichard-Mclean began her set slagging off England (a cheap shot in my opinion), and since I’m sensitive about this particular subject (I’ve had it a LOT since living in certain parts of Wales), it took me a while to warm to her. Even then, it just wasn’t my kind of humour, but the audience responded well to her STI and sex worker jokes!
Next up was Lorna Prichard, a very tame comedian compared to the rest. Lorna currently runs ‘Howl’ a regular comedy night at Tramshed. Lorna was very sweet, but I still didn’t quite click with her humour. I think I’d like to see more of her, so a trip to Tramshed it is.

After Lorna came Rhys James, and for me, this was the highlight of the night. He was amazing, and I didn’t stop laughing from the moment he set foot on stage to the time he left. I loved how he continued his train of thought through a witty and cringe-worthy stream-of-consciousness to create huge amounts of comedic wit.

I particularly loved the parts about his mother; they were hilarious insights into a dark and humorous mind! I have this kind of mind so I thought he was hilarious. The audience responded incredibly well to his performance too, and I could tell we all wanted to see more of him!

Ben Norris wrapped up the night with a quirky, witty and interactive set. He chatted to the audience, joked with people sneaking off to the loo and even sang a couple of songs! I liked his attitude and presence on stage; he was incredibly quick and didn’t stand for any heckling! As with ? I’d definitely pay to see him again.

Right at the end of the show, Clint Edwards appeared on stage to give thanks to all the performers and everyone involved. He then introduced the Amnesty team and we all sang Happy Birthday to Nazanin’s daughter, Gabriella. It was a touching moment, and one that made me realise how lucky I am to be able to hold my children close.

I think the most important thing to take away from this show is to appreciate what we have. To not take life too seriously, because it’s precious and incredibly short. We are lucky to have the freedom we have, we are lucky to have our children safe and sound in our homes, we’re lucky to have a roof over our heads and we’re lucky to have each other.

So keep smiling, laughing and appreciating it all, but always remember, other people are going through a lot worse, worse than we can ever imagine. So, let’s do as much as we can to raise awareness and help.

Because, just imagine if it was happening to you…

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