REVIEW: Live At Brighton Dome, 16/06/2018

The Verse’s Gemma Turner tells us what she thought of the Live at Brighton Dome event on Saturday 16th June 2018.

With Joe Wilkinson, David O’Doherty, Reginald D Hunter, Sofie Hagen and Jen Brister

Saturday Night at the Dome returned and did not disappoint. Brighton heavyweight Jen Brister was the MC for the evening and did a stellar job. Appealing to the liberal army that is Brighton, her hosting captured the hearts and laughs of the night. She opened with the classic question “where are you from in Brighton?” and poking fun at the West Hove bracket. Jen continued with stories of the ‘perimenopause’, comparing the menopause to fight club (“nobody talks about it”) and becoming a mother in a same-sex relationship. Throughout the evening, Brister tackled the ‘Mummy Olympics’, and the struggles of getting babies to sleep. Her biggest laughs of the night were when she did a lengthy rant on periods and campaigned for the rights of non-taxes on sanitary products.

Sofie Hagen.

Sofie Hagen opened the show tackling somewhat taboo issues such as being a curvier lady, dating and a friendly ghost. Her delivery was razor sharp, yet in a warm and brave manner.

Joe Wilkinson.

As always, Wilkinson’s “I can’t be arsed” mannerisms won the room almost instantly. Probably be because his first sentence on stage was exactly that! Joe isn’t just a deadpan comic, he is clever. He manages to make wasting time funny. He has the intricacy of Stuart Lee but with Jack Dee effort, which makes him a favourite on the comedy scene. Armed with a bottle of branded talcum powder in his suit jacket pocket, Wilkinson ingeniously covered himself in the powder and used the residue as an aid for special FX. Every time he moved he create a cloud of powder, which added to the delivery. Joe shared tips of how to pick up women on public transport, lent a few of his best chat up lines and even offered advice on “what to do if you shit yourself in an opticians”, before ending his set in purposeful, awkward silence: “usually people close with a joke, I’m just going to use awkward silence”.

Reginald D Hunter. 

Reginald opened his set with his reasons as to why he has loved living in the UK for the past 25 years. He said it is because “British racists don’t shoot you”. He goes on to explain that there is an elephant to address in the room tonight. When he mentions Trump, half the audience vocalise their views on the matter with a mixture of laughter and boos. Hunter apologises on behalf of all Americans and tells us, “We fucked up big time!”.  He then goes on to explain that the ‘heartland Americans’ are to blame. “You have LA and New York, and then the rest of America.” The audience responded with a roar of laughter. Hunter moves on tackle Brexit in his own way, drawing on parental advice from his father whose best advice was to “get the hell out of there quick”.

The crowd hung on to Hunter’s every word as he elegantly waded his way through political and philosophical anecdotes. His epic engagement of white supremacists on Twitter was what captured the room and displayed the true intelligence and the reason why Hunter is so widely respected. This definitely won his best laughs. He ended the set by explaining he would tell three stories, two funny. He started by telling a touching story about his mother that, although had no punchline, brought you back to the reality of black history and reminded you just how important these stories are to pass on. 

David O’Doherty.

Armed with a 1986 keyboard, O’Doherty opens with ‘You Have To Laugh’. O’Doherty has a presence on stage that not many comedians can achieve. His silly-ness combined with his casual persona allows you to feel that you are not only watching a comedy mastermind at work but also makes you want to go have a beer with him. Although the show did lose focus very slightly during a song in which his addresses his 18 year old self, he managed to bring it back with his very clever musical take on leaving the house without your mobile phone. He engaged with the audience by asking them to name famous David’s he would need to kill in order to be the ultimate David, and wittingly calls a member of the audience a monster when they suggest he kills David Attenborough. His biggest laugh of the night was when he addressed Brexit, which in a liberal crowd such as Brighton, was to be expected. David will be playing the Edinburgh Fringe Festival before his winter tour ‘You Have to Laugh’ begins in December.

For tickets:

David O’Doherty-

Jen Brister –



The Verse Staff

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