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15 Jan 2009

Post 96 - More Comedy (Sean Lock and others at the free fringe benefit

I would love to have the coordination to write so that I can take notes at some of the things I go to, this would have been particularly useful when I went to the Free Fringe Benefit Comedy gig at the Bloomsbury theater the other night (Tuesday I think). It would have come in useful so I could at least sing the praises of the good comedians whose names I can't remember and mercilessly savage the bad ones. For starters the compere got better and better. Apparently his name was Daniel Kitson. When he started I thought he was a shambling joke, bearded, bespectacled and with an obvious stutter, my initial thought was 'who is this fool'? OK some slight pot, kettle there but he got funnier and funnier and his insistence that 'we tear the c*ck off the evening' and 'f*ck the roof' was probably metaphorically achieved (at least in places). The evening started well with the impossibly cute, adorable and down to earth Lucy Porter who I hadn't known was performing, so that was a pleasant surprise. She, rather adorably took the audience through a Thai Phrasebook she had happened on at Bangkok airport. Apparently, it had looked fairly innocent when she bought it but on closer inspection it was clearly aimed at the 'sex tourist' with charming chapters titled 'in the bedroom' and Phrases like 'how old are you?' Nice. The rest of the first half was a bit hit and miss, the highs being the compere (who probably stole the show) and the last guy on before the interval, I think he was called Milton Jones, see what I mean by needing to take notes? The lows were provided by a guy in surfer gear who sang a painfully unfunny song 'Me And You, A Monkey, A Teddy, A Deaf Kid And A Shoe' done in the style of a shaking mental patient, there was worse still, a guy with a pink mohican talked at length about his time in the Chippenham skinheads, learning to wrestle and his fondness for collecting my little ponies, clearly he was hoping the west country accent could carry his frankly odd material, now I do find the west country accent funny but not that funny. I thought at this stage that to become a comedian you have to be supremely self-confident to make the decision to become a comedian and afterwards remain supremely confident in your ability and material to keep making people laugh. I had no idea what this guy was playing at, he must have been delusional because even with my self confidence at zero and my voice too weak too project and with no alcohol to blind me of the utter suicide of doing it, I considered heckling, something you don't ever do because it never ends well, especially when all the cards are stacked against you, a rubbish skinhead professional comedian versus weak voiced wheelchair bound stroke survivor. Luckily I came to my senses and said nothing and saved myself ruining the evening for myself and my friends! You could sense this throughout the audiece, people looking puzzledly at each other thinking 'is the compere supposed to be funnier than the acts? When are the headliners (Sean Lock, Robin Ince and Dave Gorman) coming on?!The answer was that they were coming on last (probably not a surprise), third to last was Dave Gorman who I'd heard of but wouldn't know if I bumped into in the street. He parsonified the Hackney trendy, fashionable Jeans and t-shirt and trainers, slight build with designer stubble (probably a vegan on moral grounds), short hair and mining the rich seam of comedy that is London hosting the olympics in2012, I'll bet stand up comics can scarcely believe their luck, something as easy to take the piss out of as George W Bush in the White House! His joke about his suggestion for the opening ceremony was genius! Robin Ince continued as the penultimate act,having a sly dig at the comperes time keeping. Kitsons response was to wander onstage in the background as Ince started. Ince couldn't for the life of him work out why the audience was laughing at odd moments. He was brilliant though, carefully deconstructing and comically demolishing US foreign policy while rubbishing Dubya. Safe ground but well delivered.
Sean Lock was on last and of course brilliant despite me rather twatishly not liking his shoes. His style is that of tall disgruntled man in the pub, it will be many years before I forget his joke about how to stop a dog humping your leg! He didn't disappoint and gave the audience what they had paid to see. I, personally was left a bit cold by the format, probably as I'm more used to seeing live comics have 1hr+, not just 10mins but I would have still enjoyed myself if it had been a read-through of a Jane Austen Novel because I got out of the house and got to spend time with my friends, the Dugdale brothers, Chris who drove and Will (post91), the incomparable Vicki (Bottom ofPost81), Simon W (Post88),Simon D(Post88) Tony(Post88) and Gary and Jo(Post88). I could smile again. I can't wait to see Stephen K Amos in Farnham on March 6th but I'm being taken to see Jimmy Carr on Sunday by friend Andy Kocen, which should be great.

3 comments:

Simon said...

"Safe ground but well delivered.
Sean Lock was on last and of course brilliant despite me rather twatishly not liking his shoes."

What the f**k?!?!

Dom P said...

Exactly! I just remember that his shoes were too light brown to go with his trousers. Since when have I been qualified to give fashion advice? Hence 'twatishly'

Shaun said...

Daniel Kitson is a bona fide comic genius. Seen him a couple of times at the Melbourne Comedy Festival a few years back and he was awesome!

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