Pre-judging a comedy show is a futile pursuit, but when I arrived inside the University of Essex’s Lakeside Theatre and asked to write down my ‘bad’ fictional crushes to give to a comedian, I was a bit daunted.

Throughout the night Delaney Jordan wowed with her high-energy, intelligent, and greatly needed comedy-set, most assured in its dissection of online fandom culture and the complexities of human sexuality.

Before the show had even started, I had seen members of the audience experience the same ‘oh’ reaction, and I even helped an older woman remember Mr Gatsby’s first name in the waiting lobby.

Gazette: Interactive - Delaney Jordan has been producing comedy video content since 2022 and asked members of the audience for their crushes tooInteractive - Delaney Jordan has been producing comedy video content since 2022 and asked members of the audience for their crushes too (Image: Newsquest)

Later, a few almost half-rows of bench-seating meant that the small audience of about a dozen people, felt like a semi-private event - exclusive and edgy.

The set began with Delaney, grinning with anticipation and speaking in a neutral American accent, her voice dripping with sardonic bite and adolescent coolness, a pop-culture whizz.

As well as having a fictional element, she was an academic from a struggling branch of sociology that cannot be repeated here. Delaney seemed to have a persona which really carried the hour-long show.

The small amount of distance created by her methodical and extremely up-beat character - speaking so quickly at times she did occasionally become unclear – it meant that Delaney never felt seedy or inappropriate.

Dividing the set, styled as a seminar-presentation, into parts was a godsend, and kept the quite-scripted show running as precisely as a European train.

Many of the video game references, a lot of them male waifs, were admittedly very well-explained but even so, were not as memorable or crowd-pleasing as recognisable names.

For example, the jokes, and truths, about Alfred Molina’s sexiness were not rushed and instead superbly drawn out by a projector behind Delaney playing well-timed Spiderman clips – she knows how to work an audience.

Being a filmed performance for Delaney’s fans on Patreon, I would retain all the crushes with their zany and authentic stories, but the ending did need much more work.

Running a few minutes over, Delaney only had time for one crush, which no-one admitted too, and so with hindsight, additional time was needed to ensure there was no audience anti-climax.

However, with several big laughs and bursting creativity, Delaney Jordan's comedy-set was a crush that no one would be ashamed of. 

4 stars.