STROUD’s Crazy Bird Comedy Club goes from strength to strength: the latest offering at the Sub Rooms provided a value-for-money package with no fewer than five comedians plus compere Geoff Whiting.

The latter’s warm-up act got proceedings off to a fine start, helped by an audience of Stroud’s ‘finest nutters’ who engaged in the verbal sparring with enthusiasm.

Junior Simpson’s opening act was slightly uncomfortable, featuring too much profanity for my taste, but he was followed by local act Marti, aka Tim Hoskins from Tewkesbury, who set the stage alight with his portrayal of a foreign entertainer showing off his variety of English accents.

Winter Foenander from Ireland garnered more groans than laughs but Canadian Peter White followed with a polished performance which kept everyone well and truly under his spell.

Top honours, however, undoubtedly went to Arthur Smith, as the Radio 4 favourite returned to Stroud to offer an eclectic set, with topics ranging from our local hospital to Jenni Murray, and from The One Show (or ‘Blue Peter for grown-ups’) to poetry, both amusing and moving.

Arthur will now need a new ambition as his previous wish to be in the SNJ has now been fulfilled: let’s hope he comes back soon.

In the meantime, the next CrazyBird Comedy Club presentation will be on Friday June 17, featuring four new comedians alongside MC Geoff Whiting: don’t miss it.