COMEDY NIGHT: Why you need to see... Danny Sutcliffe
Who: Danny Sutcliffe
Where: A Laugh In Stockport, Stockport
Danny Sutcliffe bobs and weaves on stage like a boxer on his toes. His soft-shoe shuffle, allied with a Droylsden drawl and smile as broad as the Stockport Viaduct make for an engaging and energetic presence. He radiates a genuine enthusiasm that's impossible to resist. It instantly convinces you that the next 20 minutes are gonna be a riotous helter-skelter ride. By the time he shimmies off stage to rapturous applause, such thoughts are utterly vindicated.
Sutcliffe isn't the easiest comedic talent to relay in that he seems so naturally and effortlessly funny. In the same way it would be difficult to do justice to the instinctive talents of say, Bob Mortimer or Ross Noble or Johnny Vegas, so it's tricky to pinpoint exactly what works so well with Sutcliffe. At one point he follows a roar a laughter with "Ah, it's good to have jokes! I will get some..." and it's kinda true. Some people can't help but be funny - they just *are*.
With an appearance that's somewhere between 70s rocker, WWE wrestler and a friendly lion, Sutcliffe is a joyous regaler of tales. Like the funniest, most chaotic member of your circle of friends, he waxes lyrical about his many misadventures. The pièce de résistance is undoubtedly his retelling of the time he auditioned for Britain's Got Talent as a robot toucan and ripped the piss out of an apoplectic Amanda Holden in front of a live audience. It's achingly funny.
Whether it's ruining an acoustic set by Tim Burgess whilst off his tits on MDMA, or lamenting the number of times he is mugged in Moss Side ("...it's still cheaper than London!"), Sutcliffe weaves his yarns with charmingly off-kilter swagger. Each anecdote is punctuated by a frenzied laugh that is at once gregarious, unnerving and slightly sinister. When he states "I think I'm going to kill again! Hahahaha!" you almost believe he could live up to his infamous surname.
As much as Sutcliffe exudes cheeriness, he's not afraid to open up. He references bouts of depression and living with OCD with impressive candour, although a self-depreciating dig is never far away. He talks about hammering the Samaritans' helpline so incessantly that they eventually bar him (thus causing him to resort to 'How's my driving?' numbers). Sometimes he just settles for "a cry, a wank and a sandwich". Even his best attempts to join the dogging community go awry.
That said, this is no cry for help or Edinburgh style pull at the heartstrings. Sutcliffe is a bon viveur in every sense of the word and the very best of company. He ends with a riddle that is best not repeated in polite circles but has the audience in guilty hysterics. Like so much of Sutcliffe's set, it's so right and yet so horribly wrong. If he's part of any comedy lineup around your way, be sure to pop along - you won't be disappointed.