Lee Hurst’s comedy club bows out

ON the penultimate last night of Lee Hurst’s legendary East End comedy club, you’d expect there to be a sombre edge to proceedings.

But the show must go on – in about a year to be precise when the Fymfyg’s new building takes on the weight of the Travelodge that is to tower on top of it.

The bulldozers are to set in on the Cambridge Heath Road club in the coming weeks but Lee, compeering as usual, managed to find some laughs among the impending dust and rubble.

Jimmy Carr, Harry Hill, Mike Myers and Paul Merton are just some of the names to have taken to the Fymfyg stage in its 12 year history.

The last gig, on Saturday December 4, could have been a more reflective affair, but Friday’s line-up was not going to leave you cold – regardless of the snow outside.

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Lee could have chosen to bask in all the glory of a creating a cult venue that has been attracting loyal crowds since he took it over in 1998, but he was instead happy to sidestep and let the three acts steal most of the show.

Jeremy O’Donnell kicked off the proceedings with a calm and collected manner that was tested when he very obviously stuffed up the punchline to a tongue twister gaffe.

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But he managed to pull it all back in and warmed us chilly lot up nicely.

Portuguese mumbler Philberto (who is actually English comic Milo McCabe) may not be everyone’s cup of tea but his musings on Underground etiquette (keep to the right!) and cockneys were bizarre enough to hold the crowd.

It was headliner Paul Sinha – possibly the only gay Hindu qualified GP-turned-comedian in the country – who stole the show.

His flirty interchange with a bloke in the crowd, while admitting he doesn’t get many opportunities to meet men, was not your usual audience harassment sketch.

Lee’s short interludes mentioned bulldozers once or twice but if there was a hint of sentimentality in his tone he kept it pretty well hidden.

With the club due to reopen in about a year, Bethnal Green will have to amuse itself some other way for the time being.

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