As opposed to the previous entries in TCJ’s Top Acts at Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival, Ian Stone’s 20 years in comedy makes him the most experienced comedian to make it onto the list. After only becoming involved in stand up following a dare initiated by his girlfriend, Stone has since gone on to perform at the Edinburgh Festival and has appeared on a number of TV panel shows including Mock the Week and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. A devoted Arsenal fan, Stone currently hosts The Tuesday Club podcast along with fellow comic and Arsenal fanatic Alan Davies, and features on ESPN’s football chat show Off the Ball.
Ian Stone: Stoney Baloney
With Stone making his appearance on the final day of the festival, I approached The Musician pub in Leicester in mixed spirits. The comedy I had seen over the two weeks had on the whole been to a very high standard, however some less impressive shows had punctuated the fortnight and I was concerned that perhaps Stone might join this unfavourable group. A few minutes into Stoney Baloney and sitting in the cosy, friendly venue that is The Musician, I needn’t have worried.
Stone took advantage of the relaxed atmosphere and dealt out familiar, reliable material tailored to the audience. Raising the topic of the recent EDL marches in Leicester, Stone discussed how he was himself involved in a political demonstration, contemplating giving up half way through the march and continuing the rest of his protest in a taxi. It was this tongue in cheek, light hearted delivery that made the show so enjoyable and secured the comic the support of the audience for the entire set.
Stone’s experience was evident in the way he interacted with the audience, and throughout the performance he actively encouraged people to cooperate with him. His likeable style meant that this was easily achieved and this, coupled with his extensive and polished material, allowed the show to motor pleasantly through its scheduled hour.
With two decades of stand up experience already under his belt, Stone could have carried on for far longer, but his performance as it was brought Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival 2012 to an fantastic conclusion. I wasn’t surprised to hear in the last few days that his set secured a nomination for this year’s Best Show award, and given the smooth and stylish nature of Stoney Baloney, few would begrudge it if he went on to win.