Review – Live at the Riley

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As it’s my third year in sunny Leeds it seems to be the right time to experience some of the more bespoke nightlife this wonderful city has to offer. Live at the Riley wasn’t off to the greatest start when the venue was downgraded from the Riley Smith theatre to the Pyramid café, but nevertheless I still had an enjoyable night.

Avery Edison was the first act on and did little to excite the audience. There seemed to be an absence of punchlines and most of the crowd didn’t crack a smile at any point other than when she left the stage. You have to feel for the woman, it was her first paid gig and it was interrupted by a fire alarm. However, there was no escaping that she simply wasn’t very funny.

Mawaan Rizwan lifted the mood with his ridiculously wacky set. It was hard to tell whether the audience was laughing because they felt obliged to or because it was actually funny.

Thankfully Mawaan Rizwan lifted the mood with his ridiculously wacky set. It was hard to tell whether the audience was laughing because they felt obliged to or because it was actually funny. Either way it was entertaining. He cracked one of the best jokes of the night saying “it’s wrong to breastfeed your baby without considering if it’s vegan”. On the whole, Mawaan’s set was very entertaining, if not a tad disjointed.

Mae oozes charisma and there’s no faulting her distinctive, personal self-depreciating comedy.

Mae Matthews was the saving grace of the night and delivered a set that was outright hilarious and made the night worth the money. Mae oozes charisma and there’s no faulting her distinctive, personal self-depreciating comedy. Given she was using the gig to help her write a new show it felt like she was really treating the crowd to something special.

Live at the Riley was on the whole a great night that deserves a larger following than it received

Emily Moscrop

(Image courtesy of Leeds University Union)

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