Review by Lucy Holz
Advertised as a showcase of TikTok’s biggest comedy stars, Knock Knock is an hour of stand-up featuring four content creators. All boasting huge UK followings, it’s no surprise that the show I attend is sold out. A crowd of mixed demographics, the front row features two fifteen year-olds and their mum as well as a group of four middle-aged friends.
Not familiar with any of the creators myself, an audience member next to me informs me of their greatest hits and who she’s there to see. Knowing this is the first time these performers are trying stand-up comedy, my expectations are low but my interest is piqued.
The hour begins by host Coco Sarel taking to the mic. She immediately sets the standard high, with hosting skills comparable to those I’ve seen at established comedy clubs in London. She is highly skilled at crowd work, knowing when to move on and when to delve deeper into audience responses.
Her stories are well punctuated by drawing on audience members, keeping us engaged and involved. Her experiences certainly hit a universal note, with much cheering and whooping from those who recognise their own friends in her entertaining anecdotes.
Steven McKell and Ayamé Ponder are the next performers in line, drawing on their families, backgrounds and huge followings as inspiration for their time in the spotlight. Their sets are not as strong as their fellow creators, but admirable first attempts at the notoriously fickle medium that is stand-up comedy.
Henry Rowley is the final act of the show and receives a very warm welcome to the stage. Rowley has some great jokes lined up, as well as some trademark impressions of posh festival goers. His set brings the hour home strong, bookended by another appearance from Sarel.
Truly impressive, these creators are to be commended for their bravery in taking part in this show. No doubt bringing in crowds who may not have otherwise attended live performance, it’s fantastic to see them taking part in what Sarel calls ‘an experiment’.
If you love watching any of these performers online, don’t miss this chance to see them in the flesh. A fun show suited to anyone who wants to see what this whole stand-up thing is all about, sit in the front row if you dare.