Jan Jack’s Laughter-House Red Lion Hotel, Basingstoke MAGIC tricks, mayor gags and unusual relationship songs were part of another riotous night of revelry, courtesy of Basingstoke’s own Jan Jack.

Word has clearly spread of the quality comics who flock to the Red Lion Hotel every month to be part of Jan Jack’s Laughter-House, and despite grisly weather, last week’s instalment was an absolute sell-out with extra seats brought in.

Regular compere Danny Dawes was on lively form to kick off the evening, heckling Matt the teacher – an unfortunate front-row Laughter-House newcomer – who more than held his own.

Throughout the night, Dawes had the crowd in stitches and revelled in the presence of dignitaries – the mayor and mayoress of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Brian and Eleanor Gurden – but, in his words, lost any chance of receiving “the key of Basingstoke”.

Experienced comic Susan Murray had the tricky opening slot, exploring the well-trodden theme of Mars and Venus.

She drew titters from the ladies with her experiences of internet dating, female grooming and catching the bouquet as an unmarried 40-year-old, but her gags didn’t always hit the mark and it was hard to fathom if she is pro or anti-women – or neither.

After a booze break, the audience was in for a treat with Jan Jack and Ashley Frieze, guitar in hand.

Jan was on great form. Her long-suffering parents, and particularly her “common” mother, received more verbal blows in an act which was delightfully below-the-belt.

Frieze, who removed the belt entirely, brought music to the fray – singing songs such as a self-deprecating rendition of Who Ate All The Pies – the answer being him – a teasing Stuck in the Middle With You, with opening line: “Well I don’t know why I came here tonight”, and other, unprintable numbers.

A very natural comic, Frieze also made the effort to connect with the crowd and brought Basingstoke, and its mayor, into his act.

By now several pints in, the audience was faced with the comic whirlwind that is Wes Zaharuk, and saw rather more of him than they expected.

It didn’t take the Canadian and his suitcase of tricks long to have the crowd in his grasp, literally, with an hysterical juggling act. Another unsuspecting lady in the front became Zaharuk’s arms, blindly following his instructions.

All in all, it was another fantastic and varied night.