Among tonight’s handful of guests sits a sceptical-looking man in a beige linen jacket. He’s from the Mail. Looking slightly out of place among the right-on crowd, he brandishes a small notepad, waiting to chronicle the quality of this intended fatwa against him and his employers.
Unfortunately, the quality of Mail-bashing is poor. Student stand-up William Hanmer-Lloyd is obviously a newcomer to comedy and although there are signs of promise, his material lacks the intelligence to really probe the power of the Mail’s ideological force. Instead, he largely reverts to the same childish stereotyping as the Mail, brandishing the words “racist” and “bigot” in almost every gag.
Hanmer-Lloyd also tries to weave a bizarrely grim narrative. He explains that he lives in a commune of illegal immigrants, where a number of the inhabitants have been subject to horrible racist attacks. Apparently, though, the moral of the story is that these people have been able to laugh at their own misfortune, and therefore so should we. “Let's turn hate into humour,” he says at the end, to a bewildered looking crowd. Suffice to say the man from the Mail doesn’t last long. Ten minutes is enough.