The Solo Project #10: A comedy show

Russell Howard Tour, Leeds
Russell Howard Tour Ticket

As someone who was described on more than a few school reports as ‘fiercely independent’, I’m one of those people who just doesn’t like missing out on things. Whilst I do have some great friends in Leeds, my nearest and dearest aren’t on my doorstep and I think that combined with being a single gal makes me just want to go ahead and do stuff, regardless of whether someone comes with me. When it comes to social stuff, I’m not a suggester as such and whilst I love seeing my friends, arranging the logistics can sometimes be tricky when there’s distance involved, so when I saw that a Russell Howard was doing a show in Leeds on a Sunday evening, I just booked it then and there.

I’ve always been a massive fan of his shows and saw him live for the first time back in 2013, so I knew I was definitely in for a good night. I must admit, I was a bit apprehensive about going by myself as the show took place in the First Direct Arena in Leeds, so it does feel fairly big and exposed when you’re by yourself – though looking back, I was sat on a full row of people and must have just blended in.

Having had a little wobble earlier in the evening about going it alone (where are these solo nerves coming from, I was like this with Amsterdam?!), I arrived at the arena and headed to the bar as yo to the freakin’ lo on a Sunday eve. Plastic pint glass in hand, I headed into the arena to find my seat a few minutes before the support act started. I found that my end of row seat was next to a teenage boy and his dad who didn’t even acknowledge that I was there. So far, so inconspicuous as I sat sipping my Strongbow Dark Fruits.

The support act was ace and I happily chuckled my way through it. The one thing that always made me nervous was having an absolute LOL to myself in such a crowded space, and though I contained my giggles a bit more than I would have usually, it didn’t stop me enjoying the warm up. In fact, the funniest bit was how awkward the father-son duo next to me looked as the comedian shared some rather explicit anecdotes about squirting.

After a half hour break (trust me, the queues for the ladies was long enough to fill that) it was time for Russell Howard to come on and I was truly immersed by the show. From TV and his previous tours, I already knew it would be hilarious but what got me was how inspirational and touching some parts of it was. Since seeing him last in 2013, his stand up style has really grown up and he touched upon very serious subjects as well as the more light hearted content. I found myself leaving feeling uplifted rather than just in high spirits and it did make me think that I wished I’d gone with someone who could have experienced such a good show with me.

Overall, I’m really glad I pushed myself to book a ticket and go to the show. Would I do it again? Most definitely. Though I love going to shows with my friends (role on Chris Ramsey in May), I enjoyed my solo comedy experience and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for new shows at the arena.

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