The Comedy Store, Norwich

JOHN LAWSON When it comes to street cred, Norwich has definitely arrived.


When it comes to street cred, Norwich has definitely arrived.

OK, so the Comedy Store, the anarchic breeding ground for the nation's best comic talent, is now part of the London mainstream – but that it should decamp right here into the heart of East Anglia is nothing short of a coup of epic proportions.

And The Forum – and event sponsors Adnams and the EDP – were justly rewarded with a sell-out crowd for Perrier Award-winning headliner Daniel Kitson.

Kitson hardly returned the favour as he dismissed the place as “an aircraft hangar”, and a building “just showing off” because of its sheer scale.

But the crowd loved him anyway as he displayed the unique observational genius which earned him comedy's most prestigious prize.

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My particular favourites were ringing the Forum's Business Link number advertised on a balcony billboard and then berating them for building such a huge place they couldn't afford an answering machine, and suggesting that the audience could all be suspended from baby bouncers so they could pop down to heckle before springing back to safety.

Earlier, Jo Caulfield had struck a chord with men and women alike – I cried with laughter and can't wait to see her again.

Junior Simpson was less successful, trotting out rather too many tired “black man” gags and leapfrogging from topic to topic in a vain search for a rapport with the crowd.

Compere Richard Morton – and his guitar – were perfect light relief as the warm-up man.

The Comedy Store is back at The Forum each month – and despite Kitson's misgivings will, I'm sure, go from strength to strength.

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