Freezing December temperatures did little to deter the punters as Gap Comedy served up an early Christmas present of two popular comedians on 15th December. Jon Long kicked us off – a Johnny Greenwood lookalike eco warrior with a genial demeanour. An acoustic guitar hangs ominously around his neck, but this is less musical performance and more environmental PSA set to a snappy backing track. Being earnest and eco-friendly are not usually qualities that lead to side-splitting performances but his winsome and light-hearted style made the difference. Painfully middle class is on target for the Gap Comedy audience and so jolly songs about flexitarianism, inappropriate use of recycling services and the Strava-enabled smugness of joggers were right on the money

Next up, Chris McCausland, feeling less pressure than usual as ‘it’s cheaper for us to go see him than to have the heating on for an evening’. ‘You’re not dressed as I expected’, he teases us and McCausland is relaxed and cheerful on stage as he works through observations on meditation, lad culture and Apple watch fitness goals (rewards for walking to the fridge for a sausage roll, he tells us, are a workout routine he can get behind). Twenty minutes is appropriately carved out for the herculean 41-hour labour leading to his daughter’s birth – ‘awful for him’ as his wife at least had a bed and PJs. Marital dissension continues with ruminations on the futility of arguing with a psychologist wife, the absurdity of non-violent communication and age-old debates about the thermostat (particularly tricky with the combination of him, a pasty white Liverpudlian and her, a hot-blooded Brazilian!)

Much of the performance is typical middle-aged dad fare but the third act takes a more thoughtful, moving tone as he reflects on how his blindness affects his capacity to parent traditionally and his ability to ever see his daughter, wife, or hero, Mo Salah. While he articulates a lot of what is absent in his life (gallery trips, skiing, ballet (‘so not all bad!’)), he’s ‘at peace with my lot’ and talks up the ‘x-ray hearing’ and light side of potential mix ups around cleaning, hide and seek and interactions with a deaf neighbour! After some reflective and affecting thoughts, he leaves us advising ‘be glad you’re you, and be especially glad you’re not anyone else!’ With his warm and inimitable perspective, we’re glad Chris McCausland is true to himself, a unique comedian on the circuit.

Max Kibble