Kiri Pritchard-McLean at The Stand

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You may have heard of Kiri Pritchard-McLean ; she's gaining steam at the moment as a well-known comedian, having recently appeared on Comedy Central's 'The Comedy Bus' and on 'Frankie Boyle's New World Order'.

I, however, knew her as one half of the podcast 'All Killa No Filla', which discusses a different serial killer each episode, and has kept me company on many a long run through Jesmond Dene. Though it sounds gory (and well, it is...) it is also deeply, darkly funny thanks to Kiri and her co-host, Rachel Fairburn, who chat like old friends and have an infectious chemistry. And so it was that I dragged a dubious boyfriend along to Newcastle's Stand comedy club on a Tuesday night to watch an hour long set from a comedian that I'd never seen perform solo and couldn't actually tell him all that much about.

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We're no strangers to The Stand and we arrived early to secure the best seats. If you're interested, these are one row back from the front, so as to avoid being awkwardly questioned by the acts, but close enough to feel involved and with the added bonus of a table for your drinks. The venue, which is in the converted basement of the building on High Bridge, just off Grey Street, can get pretty busy. I've seen latecomers end up standing, awkwardly hovering near the back and keeping greedy eyes open for anyone scuttling home in the interval. We ordered some food before the show began (they have a concise menu downstairs or a much fancier one in the bistro above) and were impressed with the 'Chilli Sin Carne' (vegetarian), but agreed that the nachos were a little lacking in the cheese department. The Stand have an excellent bar downstairs, usually with some deals on beers, and the staff are every bit as friendly and relaxed as you'd expect from a comedy club.

We were treated to a brilliant warm up act ( with a particularly good joke about a Tardis. Kiri's show itself though, named 'Victim, Complex' was absolutely breathtakingly good. It was a whirlwind of emotions telling the story of a past relationship with a particularly messy break up and there were parts in among the genuine laughter where you could see the audience trying to hold back tears. I've never seen anything quite like it; even boyfriend got quite emotional. Everything about the hour's worth of material was so cleverly sculpted together and you felt like Kiri was really confiding in the crowd, but with some utterly brilliant jokes and, my personal favourite section, a cracking impression of a scouse woman that she once befriended in a club toilet. It was even worth staying up late on a work night for.

Kiri isn't returning to The Stand with this show, but I'm very excited to see 'All Killa No Filla' live when it comes to the toon in October. I'll no doubt be popping back to The Stand before then though, as it's a favourite little spot of mine. You can see more about what's on on their website: Their 'Red Raw' new comedy nights on a Wednesday are an absolute bargain at £3 a ticket.

Here's hoping that, if anyone reads this (fingers crossed), you've enjoyed this maiden voyage into the world of blogging - let me know (but please be kind)!


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