Saturday, 26 December 2009

Freeze!

This was the most shambolic Freeze! i've ever witnessed.

The first sketch ends with Tim Key throwing his beer over Tom Basden and a blackout signifies the end. In this instance, the glass shattered and flew in Tom's direction. When the lights came back up Tim explained he was saying *insert last word in sketch here* (I can't remember what it was), but what he was really doing was "checking for blood on a handsome mans face". Tom didn't flinch and just continued like nothing had happened. I don't think I was the only one that winced as Tom wondered around stage in his socks and Tim continued to drink out of the broken glass.

There were was a new Christmassy sketch which I don't think went to plan. From what I can gather, the angel Gabriel (Tim) passed wind which the shepherd (Tom) picked up on (<-- I tried to put this in the nicest way possible), and ran with it. It turned into a blame game; hilarious! I enjoyed watching the new short clip of Santa unwinding after Christmas ('Santa and his elves') as well as the short film that Key and Basden had made many years ago which took place on New Years Eve.

There was a very weird moment just before the interval when an audience member put up their hand and asked Tim if they could go to the toilet and about 7 people followed suite. Tim asked Tom if he needed to go and he replied "I could probably go if I tried". Tim then told the audience they had to stay where they were while he and Tom left to "try and go". As he went to leave the room, those who needed the loo pushed passed Tim as he guarded the doorway.

At the last Freeze! I went to, they tried to show 'The Amazing Hedge Puzzle', but it refused to play halfway through and we ended up watching 'The One And Only Herb McGwyer Plays Wallis Island' instead. At this Freeze!, however, we got to to watch the film in it's entirety (good). The other short film we were shown was called 'Piano For Beginners'.

I enjoy when Tim joins in when Tom performs one of his musical numbers. Tonight the song was Champagne (a favourite!). We all had a sing-song with 'Jingle Bells' towards the end of the show. Fun times.

A thought.

Tomorrow I must leave the house and stop being a recluse.

The Fix Presents: An Un-royal Variety Performance.

With London covered in ice and snow, I had a horrible feeling that this gig would be cancelled. It had an incredible line-up (Pappy's, Adam Riches, Cardinal Burns, Boothby Graffoe with Antonio Fariconne, Tim Key, Mark Watson, Angelos Epithemou and MC, Richard Sandling), so I really wished it wasn't. It started half an hour later than scheduled and the audience was very scarse, but it did go ahead. It was an odd gig; good, but odd.

I haven't seen Pappy's since they became a 3 person sketch group and I did feel that something was missing (maybe it was just the big empty venue??). Tom Parry had me and fellow member, Ben Clark, in stitches during one of their sketches. Ben was laughing so much that Matthew Crosby told them off for drinking before the show and ended it prematurely.

I'd seen Cardinal Burns do the same set at Clark's at the 100 Club a few months back and loved it. It really isn't as enjoyable when the audience isn't willing to participate; such a shame. LOVE Dustin's dancing during 'Sex On Fire'.

I'd never heard of Boothby Graffoe before (i'm blaming my Australianism) and I found him utterly charming and a very talented musician. I must admit, I didn't hear a word he was singing because I was so engrosed in the music. Antonio Farricone played on his own during part of the set and recieved the biggest cheer of the night; an amazing giutarist!

After the interval Harry Deansway (the organiser of the gig) gave a small speech about how he was being sued because he couldn't pay back a loan and An Un-royal Variety Performance was to help pay The Fix's legal fees. I don't think it was intentional, but the mood in the room became flat; it was lifted when Tim Key graced the stage.

Tim started in the usual way - tie/beer/poetic stance/poem, but several minutes into his set he asked Harry (who was on the sound desk) how he thought his speech went. Harry told him it went alright and the banter (between Tim and Harry) continued until someone in the audience heckled "5 out of 10". It was very funny.

Key went down a treat. I do love his Christmas poetry, particularly the peom which begins with "Joseph tried to fuck Mary..." and the one about the elf who was making a toy and slipped and cut himself next to his dick (apparently it was with a screwdriver).

I've never seen Mark Watson give a set like he did at this event! It started off like it usually does and then 2 audience members (a man and a woman) walked out. Mark chased them and asked why they were leaving and the man said they "were going to see someone about a joke" and the lady said they "had to take a phonecall". Mark stayed in the audience to deliver the rest of his material, saying that he "liked to see the whites of our eyes". I laughed so hard when he said his tag line should be "Mark Watson: full of babies". I also liked the joke about how happy one gets when they're eating battenburg ("with all those coloured squares") and then you think "i'm going to die soon".

I've seen Angelos a few times before and his gags aren't as funny as the first time I saw it.

A thought.

I don't enjoy my comedy as much at this time of year - the vibe at gigs makes me feel uneasy.

Friday, 25 December 2009

9 Lessons And Carols For Godless People.

One year on (to the day), my friends and I took the same seats (front and centre), in the same theatre (Bloomsbury) for 9 Lessons and Carols for Godless People 2009.

Once again, the event was hosted by Robin Ince and featured the likes of Richard Dawkins, Richard Herring, Chris Addison, Joanna Neary, Martin White and the Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra, Robyn Hitchcock, Phillip Jeays, Brian Cox, Marcus Chown, Barry Cryer and Ronnie Golden, Simon Singh, Josie Long, Big Howard and Little Howard, Jim Bob, John Otway and Baba Brinkman. Phew!

Martin White and the Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra were the house band and played intro and exit music for the many performers as well as accompanying the musical acts. We were treated to 'Don't Discuss The Outside World' half way through the show; a very catchy song that was impossible to get out of my head the following day.

Richard Dawkins told a story featuring Jeeves and Wooster in which Jeeves explains his reasons for not believing in God to Wooster, a notion that Wooster warms to in the end. It was very entertaining.

Chris Addison gave a similiar set to last year. Hearing the material several times doesn't stop it from being funny, quite the opposite, I look forward to it. His T-Rex impressions are made of awesome. "Why won't anyone waltz with me? I'm not trying to cop a feel".

Last year it was 'I Can't Live (If Living Is Without You)', this year it was 'I'm Being Followed By A Moon Shadow' and it was just as good. Jo Neary as Pan's Person is wonderful and makes me smile on the inside and out.

When Robyn Hitcock took to the stage I had no idea what to expect (I was a bit like "riiiiiiiiiight". You know what I mean?). His rendition of 'Olé Tarantula' with backing vocals from several of the other acts was one of my highlights of the night (they hadn't practised, so Robyn gave instructions from the stage).

I really like Phillip Jeays' work, and I was a little bit disappointed that he only got to sing one song. 'What Would Singer's Sing' would just have to sufice until the next time I can see him.

I'd never heard Brian Cox live before (I occassionaly listen to The Infinate Monkey Cage on Radio 4, which he presents with Robin Ince) and I was very much looking forward to it. I sat in awe as he explained the underlying structure and building of the universe, the forces of nature, galaxies and particles. Some stunning images of planet Earth were projected onto the screen behind him during his set; if the subject matter wasn't blowing your mind enough, these images would certainly do the trick.

Ben Goldacre talked about the power of placebo. I think he wanted to cram a lot of information into his set and talked incedibly fast. Ben said his friend described it "like being skull-fucked by his data cock". Ha!

The audience were up on their feet by the end of Barrie Cryer and Ronnie Golden's 'Peace and Quiet'. It was definitely the pinnacle of the entire show, and I can't help but feel as though it should have been the closing set. Baba Brinkman's 'Rap Guide To Evolution' was good, but it was missing that "this is completely awesome!" moment.

I think I enjoyed the show a little bit more this year because of all the music. I know for a fact that i'll be back for more in 2010.

A thought.

I was listening to The Infinate Monkey Cage this morning and Chris Addison was talking about losing his faith and said that the most horrendous consequence of not having God in his life was that you lose your loved ones that have passed away all over again.

It really struck a chord with me; as soon as he said that the hairs on my body stood up on end and I burst into tears. I still get upset by the fact that there is no heaven.

Pajama Men.

I killed time on snowy Oxford Street until it was time to see Pajama Men at Soho Theatre. I'd seen the show in Edinburgh and enjoyed it, but I think I appreciated on a different level the second time. Genius!

Basically, Shinoah and Mark are character comedians and they play lots of different people who are on the same train. All of the characters die towards the end and it turns into a confession of why the murderer did what he did. It's actually quite touching as well as painfully funny.

There was part in the show where a ghost (Jennifer) and a 16 year old boy (Dan; he's "invinsible") share secrets by whispering into each others mouths. The secret telling kept going back and fourth and each time the secret receiver was getting more and more reluctant to open their mouth. I laughed so much I had a very sore tummy.

A review that is a lot more eloquent than mine can be found in the Guardian.

A thought.

I'm racking my brain as to the reason why a friend suddenly hates me so much. I can't think of one.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The 100 Club Presents: Tim Key.

I booked myself a tickets as soon as I saw the line-up for this gig. Jon Richardson, Anna & Katy, Simon Brodkin, headliner Tim Key and MC David O'Doherty. Oh. My. God!

I took my seat just as David was taking to the stage. He did lots of material from O'Doh-Party, but in little slots. The first slot he did stand-up, and the next he sang a few songs, and the one after that he read from 100 Panda Facts. I hadn't heard one of the verses he sung in 'My Beefs 2009', but a friend told me that it was from 'My Beefs 2008'; it was very funny nonetheless. I loved the way he introduced Tim Key: he called him "cunt-flaps" and told the audience that they were going to get "jizzed all over with poetry" (ha!).


Jon Richardson was the first comedian on. He interacted with the audience a bit and got all embarrassed when someone said they were from Bow and then he said "oh Bow, it doesn't even have an 'o' in it. Wait, it does have an 'o' in it. I was thinking of the French spelling". He did about 5 minutes extra material because he "couldn't end with a mistake".


I'd been meaning to see Anna & Katy for ages as I had a feeling i'd like their comedy. I wasn't disappointed; they were ace! They compliment each other brilliantly throughout their slightly shambolic, often riduculous and random sketches.

Simon Brodkin was clearly trying out new material. Humphrey Ker interviewed Simon Brodkin (who played a famous footballer) and they read their lines off a script. His set was fine, but it needed to be edited and tweaked.

Tim gave a very funny set which was full of improvisation (love it!). He gave up on his poem about dew ("like it of loath it, we're all got an opinion") because it went on too long and had "got a bit long in the tooth".

I loved the part in his set when he talks about his Mum being such a great cook that she's able to whip away the crusts from a pizza and make a stock out of it. He then goes on to say his Dad is a terrible cook and once found him cracking a jar of ragú like one would crack an egg, and then calls him a cunt (or a penis or something equally awful depending on the night). On this occasion he called him a cunt and then said that he's never actually called him that before and that he'd give it a go on Christmas. He smiled and then said that he could picture his Dad coming to him on Christmas night with tears in his eyes and asking him "why he'd called him a cunt on Christmas morning".

My favourite poem at the moment is about a girl who has no money and wants to get a joint account with her partner. Her partner then bites her lip and draws blood, and then they're fighting about that and not all the joint account business. It's such a powerful piece.

It was an awesome night of comedy; such a shame that the room was only half full and had an odd vibe.

A thought.

I love it when comedians who i've see lots and lots improvise.

Mark Watson's Earth Summit.

In 2007 Mark Watson was chosen to attend Al Gore's climate project training program and now gives climate change lectures. I missed seeing 'Mark Watson's Earth Summit' in Edinburgh, so was delighted when he did a run at Soho Theatre.

Mark used a slide show and "jokes and facts" to teach us about global warming. We were told of the changes, what had contributed to climate change, what would happen if action wasn't taken, what governments are doing to try and stop climate change and things that we all could do to help ease the problem.

As we entered the room, Mark wrote funny little thoughts on his laptop that were projected onto a screen for the audience to read. It took my back to The 24 Hour show; nice memories.

A thought.

I'd know a lot more if the teachers at school used "jokes and facts".

Swan Lake And La Clique.

I hadn't been to 2 shows in 1 day since Edinburgh, but it was doable, so we did it. First show of the day was the matineé performace of Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake and the second, La Clique.

When I was about 5 and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would always say "Margot Fonteyn". I gave up dancing when I was 12, but it still interests me greatly. It's quite odd that i've never been to a live ballet before; Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake lived up to all my expectations and then some.

The lead male dancers were the most equisite dancers i've ever seen in my life; I sat aghast the entire show. The part where all the male swans were dancing around the lake was my favourite. The choreography was just incredible.

The only criticism I had was the female ballerina's were wearing these high-heel type pumps and I wished I could watch them dancing in their points.

From here on in, I want to go to the ballet every Christmas.

I'd seen La Clique when it was at the Hippodrome earlier in the year and loved it. I was very lucky to have been given a free ticket to see it again, this time at the Roundhouse.

All the acts were varied and entertaining, with 4 performers (Mario, Ursula Martinez The Skating Willers and Marawa) coming back for the second run. Mario and The Skating Willers did the same set, but Marawa's and Ursula's were new.

Ursula Martinez's routine blew my mind; it's kind of like a stip tease meets a magic trick. Long story short, she ends up naked centre stage and makes a red hankerchief disappear and then reappear.

Le Gateau Chocolat had me in stitches with his raunchy, drag, operatic routines. He graced the stage 3 times during the show, each time was funnier than the last.

Samalvarez was the other stand-out for me. Think aerial flying with chains; extraordinary.

A thought.

I wonder what ballerina's think about when they're dancing a routine they've danced many, many times before.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

AEOSK (V).

The months seem to be flying by, it felt like only a few weeks since I last attented An Event Of Some Kind. Two months? Seriously?

Don't Tread On Spiders and Witness To The Beard provided music, Tom Basden and Eric Lampaert provided comedy and, as always, H Anthony MC-ed the evening and provided thoughts/musing/poerty/music/comedy.

I arrived halfway through Witness to the Beard's first set as I had to do an odd job in Soho. They were my favourite band of the evening (I thought the drummer was particularly ace!). Don't Tread On Spiders were fine, but there was something about them that I didn't like very much. I think it was the fact that their sound and look was quite emo and young (teenage?) and they weren't all that emo... or young.

I'd seen Eric Lampaert at Fullmooners just before the summer, it was a drunk, late night crowd and Eric did what he had to do to make then laugh. Unfortunatley for my-sober-self I didn't find him very funny. I enjoyed his set at AEOSK, although I wasn't too keen on the fact that he kept asking the audience what they wanted him to talk about.

Tom Basden went down a treat. He played most of my favourite songs (even Champagne, which i've only heard on YouTube). He said he doesn't play songs like Wun Nee, Gang-bang Girl and Torture Chamber because his girlfriend doesn't like them. I do, I like them a lot. Do you know what would have really been great? If he sang some songs from The One And Only Herb McGwyer Plays Wallis Island. I know; it was never going to happen.

H Anthony is getting so good at this MC-ing business. One day i'd like to experience life from his perspective, it seems awesome. His beat poem about Christmas was the perfect end to a great night of entertainment.

A thought.

Are two jobs better than one?

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Time Out Presents: One Night Only.

Last night I went to the Bloomsbury Theatre (how middle class) for a Christmas event presented by Time Out. The bill was pretty good; i'd seen only 2 out of the 9 acts, which included Will Andrews, Sarah Pascoe, Rich Fulcher, Beardyman, The Boy With Tape On His Face, Idiots of Ants, Tim Key, Reginald. D. Hunter and MC, Jason Cook (as "An Elf").

I wasn't sure of Will Andrews' set to begin with, but he soon won me over. I'd like to check him out again in the near future, a longer set perhaps.

Growing up in Australia means that i'm not always up to speed with everything English. I really hate it when conversations turn to old English television programs/books/traditions because it usually goes over my head. I guess Sarah Pascoe has been in a lot of other programs besides The Thick Of It, but that is the only show I know her from. I really liked her material/delivery/dark sense of humour.

I'm not sure if I like or don't like Rich Fulcher. Some of his material I like (especially the bit about take-away chains) and other bits I don't really "get". His set was a lot better than the one I saw him give at Los Quattros Cvnts a few weeks back though.

I'd never heard of Beardyman before and he was one of my favourite performers of the night. He's essentually a beatboxer, but a humorous one at that. He really livened up the (quiet) audience.

The boy With Tape On His Face is just brilliant! Performers that rely a lot on audience participation can easily die an awful death, but not TBWTOHF.

Tim Key is always a favourite of mine. He got into the festivity of the evening by reciting some Christmas poetry. I loved the bit when he was talking about Santa and then looked up at the audience and said "you know Santa" (mimed a beard) "I wanted to say paedo then, but he wasn't always a paedo". I also like the bit when he talks about the things people have said/written about him and put certain words in inverted commas (e.g "poet").

I'm glad I got to see Reg. D. Hunter, i've been meaning to for ages. I like the way in which he tells a series of stories and ties them together at the end.

A thought.

All I can think about it sleep.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

O'Doh-Party. Again.

I love this show so much, I would happily go and see it again and again and again. It's full of so many fantastic songs and stories and quotes that I really want to remember, but I think my brain hates me because it's having so much trouble.

'My Beefs 2009' was my favourite song of the evening (however, I am always moved and always love 'Everything Is Not Shit').

There was an extra little story after he told of the dog he almost killed - an intelligent dog that's expression said "if only I wasn't trapped inside this furry kiosk". Apparently an audience member came up to him after a show who had actually killed a dog that she was looking after (I will leave you with these words: dead dog, suitcase, New York, subway, thief).

I enjoyed the slightly over-use of the word "whatevs"; his phrases always make me smile. Oh, and I really like the lyric "happiness is like an urban fox".

I'm not sure if anyone else has actually noticed that O'Doherty uses the same noise ("dooga-dooga-dooga") for sex and driving down a country road (complete with grass "brazilian") - makes me giggle.

I was totally oblivious to the fact that DO'D had an album out, but i'm pleased to say that i'm now the owner and listener of 'Giggle Me Timbers (Jokes Ahoy)'. I really reccommend buying it - it's so joyous. Also, I finally got around to ordering 100 Panda Facts too (hurry up Mr. Postman!).

A thought.

It's time to get healthy, no more "tomorrow".

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Karaoke Circus. Bethnal Green Working Man's Club.

I tend to stay well away from East London as it scares me, but I couldn't not go to Karaoke Circus! A seedy underground room that had a faint smell of wee didn't stop it being a wonderful night out; always such a joy.

There were lots of highlights and my favourites included: Tony Gardner and Ben Miller's impression of Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing 'Little Drummer Boy', Humphrey Ker (phwoar!) and Thom Tuck from The Penny Dreadfuls singing 'Dancing in the Dark', a young (and very charismatic) lad called Jack singing 'Mr Blue Sky', Margaret Cabourn-Smith singing 'All I Want For Christmas (she apologised because "it is impossible to not sound like a cunt while singing this song") and Chris Addison and Jessica Hynes singing 'Fairytale of New York' by The Progues.

My friend, Will, gave another storming performance (singing the male part of Sonny and Cher's 'I Got You Babe') and I found Anna Crilly (who sang 'Last Christmas with Katy Wix) very entertaining. Kevin Eldon used an immense amount of talent to give a flawless rendition of 'Everybody Hurts'; he never fails to blow me away when he performs. I think the image of Tom Parry from Pappy's jumping around in his boxers and a little bit of tin foil very disturbing - he shouldn't have jumped.

To end the night, all those who "karaoke-ed" got up onstage and belted out Bohemian Rhapsody. I think all Karaoke Circus' should end like this in the future.

Once again Martin White, Danielle Ward, David Reed (another phwoar!), Foz and The Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra were a brilliant house band. Special mention to Helen Arney on clarinet who made me smile whenever I stole a glance - loved her enthusiasm.

A thought.

I really hate feeling down when there is no real reason for feeling that way. So frustrating.

Stefan Golaszweski Plays.

On Wednesday night I went to Bush Theatre to see two plays back-to-back 'Stefan Golaszewski Speaks About a Girl He Once Loved' and 'Stefan Golaszewski Is A Widower'.

I love the way Golaszewski describes people/events/situations. Somebody on Twitter said that it is "like a series of punches to the soul" and I couldn't have put it better myself; so captivating.

I really enjoyed '... Speaks About A Girl he Once Loved'. As I left the theatre during intermission, I felt all warm and uplifted with a touch of sadness. It's about a young lad who meets Betty (a girl that it "too good" for him) in a pub and have a very brief love encounter.

I saw '... Is A Widower' during the Summer and didn't enjoy it all that much and I still have the same opinion after seeing it a second time. There are some really lovely moments, but I don't feel the play works as a whole (still didn't like that the play is set so far ahead in the future and Stefan isn't very convincing old man). There have been a few changes since I saw it last, and i'm not sure it was for the better.

It was a very last minute decision to go and see 'Stefan Golaszewski Plays' and i'm glad I did.

A thought.

Wednesday is a very funny word.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Comedy Nights @ The Lyric Hammersmith.

Last night I went to the Lyric to see Comedy Nights, hosted by Richard Herring. The line-up was another cracker and included Jack Whitehall, Dara O'Briain, Shappi Khorsandi and Jason Manford.

I really like Jack's material, but I don't like his delivery; he seems to speak through his nose and puts on quite a distressed/angry voice. I have to listen really hard to listen to what he's saying.

Dara was the secret guest comedian and it was the first time that i've seen him live. He's a completely charming, rational and skeptical man and I thoroughly enjoyed his set (he was trying out new material for an up and coming tour). He came out with a chair and a notebook full of ideas and warned us that his set may be extremely rough. I loved his bike rider material (complete with physics jokes!).

I really enjoyed Shappi's set; the last few times that i've seen her i've been a little bit disappointed. She tried out quite a smutty joke that fell a little bit flat (I thought it was hilarious) and promised to never do it again.

I loved Jason Manford's jokes about his baby twin girls, particularly the one about wrapping a baby like a burito "gaucamole. Sudocream. Done". There's a certain joke in which he asks the audience what the worse type of pain is. The top two are usually child birth and a kick in the bollocks... last night one of the suggestions was heartbreak. Jason looked quite taken aback and told the man that he's performed the show 150 times and that is the first time someone has given that answer.

A thought.

Since when did row C become front row?

Sunday, 29 November 2009

O'Doh-Party.

I had been looking forward to seeing David O'Doherty (in the Lorenz Auditorium at Soho Theatre) for weeks. It'd been way too long since I last saw him live; way back in August at the Edinburgh Fringe.

The stage was set for a play (This Wide Night, I think) complete with two couches, shower and window (that rained!). O'Doherty joked that it seemed like a typical, bleak, Irish play. My friends and I really hoped that he would muck around with the set (pre-show discussion) and we weren't disappointed.

The window was full of water and had started to drip, David seemed a little bit concerned that he'd get electrocuted so the stage manager came down and put a bucket under the dripping (there was a moment of silence when all you could here water droplets hitting the bottom of the bucket). As she was walking back up to the sound desk (and had her back turned), David showed us that the set had actual running water.

There was a little bit of "plinky-plonky", a little bit of stand-up (usually funny ancedotes) and some excerpts from 100 Panda Facts that he penned with his pals Claudia O'Doherty and Mike Ahern ("did you know that if a Panda gets struck by lightning, its black hair turns white and its white hair turns black? These bears are know to Pandologists as negative Panda's").

The last song of the show "Everything is not Shit" was written for a friend that was a little bit down and is really beautiful. I always tear up a little bit while listening to that song.

My favourite quote of the evening was when David first came onto the stage and put his Yamaha keyboard on his lap and exclaimed "I am Florence and this is my machine". I really enjoyed his story about the dog that he almost killed too (which was made even funnier when the person who's dog that story was about was in the audience).

I enjoyed the show so much that i'm going back to see it again on Saturday.

A thought.

I try not to be a complete fangirl, but it's so hard.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Fat Tuesday.

I had tickets to see Pappy's at Leicester Square Theatre, but the line-up at Fat Tuesday was just too good to resist (James Sherwood, Ava Vidal, Mark Watson and, as always, compared by Tiernan Douieb).

The crowd are always very enthusiastic and supportive. There were a few rowdy wine drinkers in the front row that annoyed me a bit; for me hecklers/loud people can really put a damper on a gig.

James Sherwood performed a similiar set to the one i'd seen at Live and Ungagged in Carlisle. I really like his comedy; it's very unique compared to other musical comedians. I'm still kicking myself that I didn't see his show in Edinburgh. Deadpan humour FTW.

Ava Vidal is good, but... her material is just not to my taste (and she scares me a little bit).

Mark Watson gave a brilliant set and had the whole audience in stitches. I really enjoyed his material about waterbeds (hope he keeps that bit in!). Two of the "rowdy wine drinkers" whispered to each other while Mark was in full flow and he stopped and asked them what they said. The two "rowdy wine drinkers" then declined to say and Mark responded with the most excellent comeback; likening the whispering to a foul right in front of the umpire (there was more but because I don't know much about football, it's hard for me to explain). It was soooooo funny.

A thought.

I wish I didn't care what people thought of me. Caring what people think of me gives me paranoia. A lot.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Instructions, Guidelines, Tutelage, Suggestions, Other Suggestions And Examples Etc.

I was very excited about attending the launch of Tim Key's new book (Instructions, Guidelines, Tutelage, Suggestions, Other Suggestions and Examples Etc. An Attempted Book by Tim Key. (And Descriptions/Conversations/A Piece About A moth)) and for good reason, EVERY event hosted/supported by The Invisible Dot is COMPLETELY awesome and I couldn't wait to buy/read the book itself.

The night kicked off with Tim Key and Tom Basden taking to the stage. There was a bit of funny talk/banter and Basden showcased his new song; an electronic-type number that asked the question "what is a book launch?". The whole thing was quite shambolic, but very funny and brilliant and genius.

Kalki the Hula Girl provided futher entertainment with a hula hooping/burlesque routine. I've seen her a few times now, all of which have been at Ali McGregor's Late Nite Variety Nite. She's very talented and totally cool.

Everybody was handed an envolope with a page of the book upon entering The Invisible Dot HQ and after Key, Basden and audience member, Dawn, had finished reading "The Day The Policeman Met The Farmer" (complete with musical accompaniment by the "trumpeter from Madness", who played outside the room for "that distant effect"), each of us read our page aloud and were encouraged to eat it (although I think Basden and Key were the only one that did; they ate their way through half a page each. Good effort).

I bought along my copy of Key's first book (25 Poems, 3 Recipes and 32 Other Suggestions) just in case an oppurtunity arose in which I could get it signed. After I had bought the new book, I shyly appproached Tim and he happily obliged.

"Dear Simone.

Thanks for your unstinting support.

This one's a cooler book I think.

Tim. x"

I am chuffed to bits.

There was a lovely article written in (wait for it) The Sun about the book/book launch.

A thought.

Whenever I meet somebody I admire I never fail to get a bit shakey/turn red/mumble/say the wrong thing etc. It's very embarrassing.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Do Nothing.

Last night I went to the Royal Court theatre in Sloane Square to see Simon Amstell's 'Do Nothing', supported by Tim Key.

The last time I saw Key perform in a similiar theatre, he absolutely stormed it and I was hoping for much of the same. I enjoyed his set, I always do, but it wasn't his best. He had a screen up behind him which meant that he was able to showcase some of his wonderful short films (clips?) that he used in The Slutcracker. They are completely awesome! I love the one about dew, it's so so beautiful and never fails to give me goosebumps.

I saw Simon's show in Edinburgh the day after the 24 Hour Show (at which he had contributed a lot of time and effort) and he seemed distracted and often lost his way (understandable). The same thing happened last night.

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the show, but it didn't really flow with the stopping and starting.

I laughed so hard at "It's so nice to be back in London. I've just finished a tour of the country (audience giggles)... we should really do something about that" and "[to audience member] what are you eating? Chocolate? This is ART... someone in Ipswich ate a Callipo during my show...".

A thought.

Rude people should be thrown out of a comedy gigs the moment they start disturbing others and/or the comedian on stage.

I say this because my evening at the Royal Court Theatre to see Amstell and Key was ruined by some very rude people sitting behind me. They clearly weren't impressed by Key and made sure everybody knew by talking really loudly about how much they weren't enjoying themselves. They were then over-enthusiastic about every little joke that Amstell made.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

It Comes In Three's (Take Two).

A few weeks back I was a little bit sad about my best friend moving back to Perth, Tim Minchin's UK tour ending and my Grandpa not being very well and consequently, blogged about it. A friend from home who read the blog compiled a list of good things that come in three's and emailed it to me (the email was titled "g'day from 'stralia").

- the holy trinity! (haha, was seriously the first thing that came into my head, wtf!)
- neapolitan icecream (three flavours!)
- #3 tram is the tram that wizzes by my window (it just went by then!)
- Ben Folds Five (Ben has been on steady decline since his band of three)
- 3 Blind Mice (see how they run!)
- 3 wishes from the genie (i'm thinking of when N-fa played the timtam genie!)
- 3 is how many days until the weekend!

I'm not sure about the first one and the last one isn't always relevant, but it cheered me up so much. I love that girl!

Los Quattros Cvnts.

I didn't know much about the gig I was about to attend, nor did I know much about the comedians I was going to see.

Los Quattros Cvunts was a sketch comedy night at The Pheonix featuring Michael Legge, Jeremy Limb, Dan Mersh and Paul Litchfield with special guest Rich Fuller.

My favourite sketch was about a Twitter hashtag game (a huge in-joke) and I also liked the sketch about the Flaherty Brothers and Billy Sunday.

I'm not still not entirely sure about my opinion on Rich Fuller's material. I think he's one of those comedians where he's so bad that he's good... you know, like Brian Gittins (?).

I thought Michael Legge was the stand-out and will definitely try and see him again.

A thought.

I've made quite a few friends on Twitter, but always find it easier talking to them online rather than in person. Ho hum.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Falling Down With Laughter.

One of the funniest and most delightful comedy night's i've been to in a long time. The line-up was ace; Two Episodes of MASH, Delete The Banjax, Bridget Christie (as An Ant), James Sherwood, Pippa Evans, Marcel Lucont (MC) and Tim Key (headliner). See? Told you it was an ace line-up.

It was an experiment night, so there was some new stuff and some old stuff. I really really enjoy watching comedians try out new material.

We were treated to 3 new sketches from Two Epiodes of MASH (Joe Wilkinson was/is amazing!), a new character from Pippa Evans (as well as a new song from Evans's older character, Loretta Maine) and some new poems and a story from Tim Key.

Tim Key's story was the highlight of the gig. I was laughing so hard that it hurt, all I wanted to do was take a breath but he just wouldn't stop being funny (death by laughing). A friend turned to me after he'd finished his story and said "OUCH", ouch indeed. It was like that childhood game where you take turns to say one word, which in turn, becomes a story... except he made up all the words, 'twas BRILLIANT.

I'd been linked to a song by Delete The Banjax on Twitter and enjoyed, it was great to finally see them live. Their sketches were good, but not as good as their songs.

Marcel Lumont was the best MC. There was quite an interesting audience member in the front row and the exchange between the two of them was very funny. Every comedy show should have an interesting audience member in the front row.

It was nice to see James Sherwood again. He seemed to enjoy the crowd and asked if he could do an extra song (ah, YES!).

A thought.

I like laughing so hard it hurts.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Mark Watson Work In Progress. Hen & Chickens.

Last night I went to the Hen & Chickens in Islington to catch up with friends for their birthdays and to see an early work in progress show from Mark Watson.

I've seen little bits and pieces of material from last nights work in progress (at Live at the Chapel and a 100 Club gig) and have enjoyed it thus far. I think it's going to be quite a personal exposé, however, funny and charming all the same.

My favourite joke was Twitter based (I did the "lean forward while slapping the leg" kind of laugh) which is probably an indication that I need to get out more. I find myself relating to a lot of Mark Watson's jokes; always a good thing when watching a comedian I think.

I'm really looking forward to the Soho Theatre gig next month.

A thought.

I love nothing more than coming home on a comedy high and remembering enjoyable/funny parts of the evening that have momentarily slipped my mind.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Fat Tuesday.

I haven't been to Fat Tuesday for ages, like, before Edinburgh ages. I was still feeling pretty rough since coming down with a God awful cold, but Chris Addison was headlining. I'd forgotten who else was on the bill, so it was a pleasant surprise to see Pippa Evans as Loretta Maine and Dan Skinner as Angelos Epithemiou.

Pippa stormed it, as per usual. I really wish she'd release an album with Loretta Maine's songs, they're just sooooo good.

Angelos is a brilliant character! He sung 3 songs inbetween the stand-up. I do love a bit of silly comedy. Best joke: "what's the difference between a kangaroo and a kangaroot? A kangaroo is an Australian marsupial and a kangaroot is something a Geordie says when they're stuck in a lift".

Lots of new material from Chris Addison, some of which was really controversial. I did agree with what he was saying (he even called the Pope a cunt), but it's not what I am used to seeing from him. I'm looking forward to seeing the show in February (what's kept in/what's been left out/what's been developed etc).

A thought.

I'm quite (very) addicted to Twitter.

Monday, 9 November 2009

We Are Gathered Here.

So, the weekend starts and my body thought it will be a great idea to get sick. Dosed up to my eyeballs on ibuprofen and hiding my rough appearance with over-sized glasses, I headed off to the Union Chapel to see Daniel Kitson.

It was such an amazing gig. Who new a comedy show could be so funny, sad and uplifting all at the same time? The show was primarily about death and whenever things started getting a little bit heavy, we were made to laugh with an anecdote. Mr Kitson sure is a remarkable comedian.

His gags about glutony and masturbation had me doubling over in laughter. I loved some of his little sayings as well "who has two thumbs? *double thumbs up* Champion!", was a favourite.

If you ever get a chance to see the show, just do it! Okay?

A thought.

I haven't been this sick in a very long time. I'm feeling quite sorry for myself.

Monday, 2 November 2009

It Comes In Three's.

My best friend's visa expired and she had to return to Australia last week. I'm feeling quite lonely without her here.

Friday night marked the last time seeing Tim Minchin perform for a very long time. This also means that I won't see some of my lovely friends as regulary as i'd like.

Mum rang on Sunday to tell me that Grandpa isn't very well. I love my Grandpa so so much. At 24 years old he still calls me his "lickle girl". He makes me feel so safe, warm and loved when he takes my hand in his.

A thought.

Please get better Grandpa.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Ready For This? Southampton.

This was my last Ready For This? show, for like, ever. It's been ridiculously fun travelling around the UK (and even back to Perth) to see it.

The Southampton show involved a little bit of last minute planning which was full of fail and I ended up sleeping on an abandoned train at Portsmouth Harbour station for the night... but I shan't bore you with the details.

There was a bit of a blast from the past when Tim fell off the stage during his opening talky-bit. He made it look so accidental... but was it? Talking about opening taky-bits, it doesn't matter how many times Minchin says "Mr Wippy van man", I always giggle uncontrollably. I do love that line/the way he says it.

I really like the "Jesus on the cross" pose that Tim does when singing 'I Love Jesus' (arms out, head down and one foot on top of the other). Hilarious!

There were a few seating problems after the interval and Tim tried to intervene. He told them that they should fight before proceeding to find them seats down the front. The seatless people then went and sat in front of the speakers and Tim said "does it hurt your ears when I do this...", and started to beat-box. It was amazing!

I also loved the ad-lib at the start of Storm. The wine glass was tiny and Tim asked the audience if he looked like a giant, put on a deep voice and said "mmmmm, human wine" and then took a big sip.

There was little bit of mix up during If You Really Loved Me when Tim sang "crackers and brie" instead of "toast and pate". He started the verse again instead of carrying on with the "niggers and R&B" lyric.

A thought.

Some people have no respect. Last night Tim was chatting with a couple of fans while they were trying to get photos. They completely blanked Tim, got the photos they wanted and wandered off without as much of a thank you or goodbye. It was sooooo rude!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Emerging Proms @ The Roundhouse.

Last night I went the Emerging Proms at the Roundhouse which featured The Mariner's Children, Broadcast 2000, Stornaway and Stars of Sunday League.

I'd gone along mainly to see The Mariner's Children (i'd seen them play at a gig when I went to see 6 Day Riot in the summer) who were absolutely brilliant. When I first saw them play they had 3 band members (guitar/lead vocals, viola/backing vocals, banjo/guitar/accordian/backing vocals) but last night they had 6 (celloist, drummer and separate violist/backing singer). Their music is tremendously beautiful.

Broadcast 2000 were my other favourite of the night, i'd definitely go and see them again. The band consisted of 3 percussionists (glockenspiel and two drummers; one of which played a step ladder!), a violinist, a mandolinist (I think it was a mandolin, 'twas a very swanky one of it was), a violinist, guitarist and two vocalists.

Stornaway were good but they played last and I was tired and my feet were sore, which meant my attention kept drifting elsewhere.

All in all, it was a fantastic night of music, but standing amoung the trendy and talented people reminded me just how uncool I am.

A thought.

If I said all the thoughts I was thinking aloud, I don't think people would like me very much.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Comedy Nights @ Lyric Hammersmith.

Last night I went to the Lyric Hammersmith to see one of Richard Herrings oganised evenings of comedy called Comedy Nights. The line-up was ace and featured Paul Sinha, Tim Key, Doc Brown and Stephen Merchant.

It was the first time i'd seen Paul Sinha and i'd heard great things about him. He gave a solid set and he was alright I guess. He lacked the "wow" or "he's soooooo funny" factor, but yeah, he was okay.

Tim Key absolutely stromed it tonight; outstanding! It was the best audience reaction i'd seen him receive and he even got a spontaneous round of applause for his war poetry ( but let's be honest, it is bloody good). the little bits of stand-up in between his poems seemed to have been tweaked and his whole set flowed brilliantly.

I'd never seen Doc Brown before (nor had I heard of him) but I really enjoyed his set. It was a kind of rap comedy and it was very very clever.

Stephen Merchant was his same old hilarious self. I particulary enjoyed his play/skit on choices (with the help of two audience members) in which the BAFTA made an appearance.

Richard Herring (despite thinking he had swine flu) was a very good MC. He was using lots of material from his Hilter Moustache show and it was pure comedy genius.

A thought.

I really dislike how early it gets dark in the winter. It's so depressing.

Ready For This? Hammersmith Apollo.

On Friday and Saturday I went to see Tim Minchin (give the biggest gig of his life) at the Hammersmith Apollo. It was so awesome to see him rock out such a huge venue.

I must admit that I laughed (for all the wrong reasons) when he came out in the first half of Friday's show in wet-look polyester leggings (he'd resorted back to skinny jeans after the interval).

There was some hilarious ad-libbing when one of the usher's (who was stood up the front and to the side of the stage) hand-held radios went off and Tim jumed off the stage and got the guy in a head-lock. He took the radio, jumped back on stage, and told the usher he "could have it back after class". When he threw/gave it back, the usher dropped it on the floor and Tim told him he "was sooooo fired!". Tim realised that he'd got terribly distracted and apologized, explaining " it was a Choose You Own Adventure; that was wrestling and now you can have this" and continued with his stand-up.

During Darkside he had 4 little domes positioned around the piano that shot out coloured flames at regular intervals. It was very cool.

The Saturday show (as well as the Sunday show) were being filmed for a DVD. I don't know if anyone else could feel it, but it was like you could cut the pressure in the air with a knife.

There were a few technical hitches; the micrphone kept crackling and the little domes of fire didn't work dure Darkside (which was superb!)... oh, and he completely skipped a verse in If I Didn't Have You.

Bears Don't Dig On Dancing was fun. There was a plant in the front row and when he got up to dance, 4 other bears came out and performed a kind of "It's Like That - Run DMC" style dance routine.

A thought.

One beer = fine. Two beers = embarrassment.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Karaoke Circus V.

Last night I went to The Albany for the latest installment of Karaoke Circus. As always, it was so much fun.

I wasn't familiar with the song Jessica Hynes sang but she gave the most fabulous performance. Everyone looked absolutley gobsmacked by how good she was (i'm sure I wasn't the only one who wanted her to do another song!).

Jessica, along with Chris Addison, received standing ovations after their songs. Chris Addison sang Common People by Pulp and he "karaoke-ed" the shit out his chosen song. He seemed to be the only person to have memorised the lyrics and practised how he was going to perform it.

The next one is on the 3rd December - i'm so there!

A thought.

I'm losing the battle of the bulge...

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

It's Debateable - With Jon Richardson.

Last night I went to Drill Hall to listen to the pilot of Jon Richardson's Radio 4 production "It's Debateable". Jon was joined by Lloyd Langford and had to try and persaude Lloyd and the audience that "all relationships should be made illegal".

I really like Jon as a comic but I always find his sets and shows really heavily scripted and executed, it was such a nice change to see him pulling gags off the cuff at the recording. His banter with Lloyd had me in hysterics. The running joke throughout the evening was that that Jon and Lloyd were sleeping together.

The funniest part of the recording (for me) was when Jon was talking about a meeting he'd had with the production team in which the words they could and couldn't use were discussed "I almost had to walk out of the meeting because I was laughing so hard. Just so you know, there will be no motherfucking in this room".

I have no idea how the subject came about, but at one point Jon started talking about giving blow-jobs to dildo's and said "that phrase should be used when you have do something that is a complete waste of time". Ha!

There were a group of young girls that were sitting front and centre that would "awwwww" really loudly when anything nice or sad was said; it was so annoying!

A thought.

I need an off switch for my brain.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Ready For This? Oxford.

I'd planned to go up to Oxford for the day and explore before the show but I had an awful lot of trouble getting out of bed. I did manage to see a little bit of town, and the bit I did see was very nice indeed.

The New Oxford Theatre was quite an old theatre (despite it's name) and had a big dropping orchestra pit between the stage and the front row. My friends and I were sat in the front row (surprise!), but tonight the bright lights that usually shine in my eyes (and the reason why I no longer like sitting in the front row) were blocked by Tim's head as he performed (win!).

I laughed lots in Canvas Bags last night especially during the line "sobber or on the floor spastic" because at the exact moment that he said spastic he tried and failed to kick the microphone stand up (he kick's it over at the beginning of the song). During the introduction of the song Tim seemed to ramble and after clocking this, he still continued his introduction but just mouthed it (I love sillyness).

The bear last night (Robbie-bear) was extremely cocky. He was chosen by Tim and told to get up on the stage, he jumped onto the stage and took his jacket off as he strutted the length of it, threw his removed jacket onto the floor near the piano, took a large swig of Tim's wine and then went up to Tim and gave him a really patronizing hug and stroked his hair (Robbie was quite a lot taller). When Tim went under the bear hat to give Robbie-bear instructions, he pulled out halfway through, giggled and said "he's such a cunt".

Just before the start of the song Tim said to the audience "why are you looking at me like that? It'll be fine" and then mouthed HELP! Robbie-bear danced on cue but mainly just skidded on his knees from one side of the stage to the other (his backward roly-poly's were funny though). He took another swig of wine before removing the bear suit and leaving the stage (he was even heckled to "GET OFF THE STAGE!).

If You Really Loved Me is my favourite part of the show (my second favourite part of the show is when Tim says "Mr Wippy van man"). I just love the piano solo's, it's certainly a sight to behold (oh, and it also sounds bloody good!).

Tim knocked over his water bottle during Darkside and had to mop it up before the encore (White Wine in the Sun), saying that the accident had occured during his "rock and roll frenzy".

It was a lovely night that was slightly spoiled by the fact that I got home at 2am and started work at 8am.

A thought.

Do not listen to comedy CDs on a packed train by yourself. Trying to stifle the laughter will make your tummy hurt.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Sean Lock. Warm-up.

Last night I went to the Pleasance in Islington to see Sean Lock try out new material for his up and coming show. The first half seemed to be old material and the second (slightly shakey) half, new material.

The first half was good but I did find the gags a little bit dated (Sachsgate? Really?) but I loved the stuff about his family life. I'm a sucker for jokes about the wife and kids. The second half was a bit all over the place, but i'm sure some good will come out of it eventually.

A thought.

The Pleasance Islington is a bloody good venue.

Friday, 16 October 2009

We Need Answers (14th, 15th And 16th Of October).

For the past 3 days i've been down at Stephen Street Studios in London to watch the recording of We Need Answers hosted by Mark Watson, Tim Key and Alex Horne.

Tuesday's recording (with guests Vanessa Feltz and Simon Bird) was one of the best in the series so far. The on-set banter between Simon (from the Inbetweeners), Tim and Mark was very funny. There were a lot of childish jokes, my favourite being "after you answer this question, Simon, you'll be a man". When it became apparent that Vanessa was going to lose, she chucked the biggest tantrum i've seen a grown-up give.

I'd gone to this recording on my own and when the warm-up comedian (Stuart Goldsmith) asked the audience if anyone had been to a recording before, I answered yes. After the usual questions of "what's your name?" and "what do you do?" he asked if i'd come along with anyone... when he realised I hadn't he got the audience to give me a round of applause. I've never felt my cheeks become so hot, so fast.

At Wednesday's recording i'd come along with friends and sat towards the back but that didn't stop Stuart from finding me. I got a round of applause because I was from Australia...

I didn't know the celebrity guests tonight (a presenter from Radio 4 and a Rugby player). The physical challenge great with both contestants having to shout sentences from their autobiographies; the person that reached the loudest decibels won. I was hoping Tim Key was going to have a go using the lines from some of his peoms ("NO EVA" or "YOU HAVEN'T EVEN GOT A FARM MATE"), but he didn't. Alex Horne was on fine form tonight!

Tracy Ann Oberman and Jake Arnott were the guests on Thursday's show. Tracy Ann was a brilliant contestant and I loved the physical challenge!

Mark asked me if i'd been to every single recording after the show (I almost have) which was a little bit awkward and embarrassing. Next week i'll have to try harder to be inconspicuous.

A thought.

A conversation between two awkward people is bound to fail.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

AEOSK (IV)

Last night I went back to South London for the latest installment of An Event Of Some Kind hosted by H Anthony Hildebrand. The line-up featured the likes of Filthy Boy. The London Dirthole Company, Pat Burtscher and Edward Aczal.

I'm a huge fan of H Anthony, his poems/beats/songs/musings always astound me. I want his mind.

Filthy Boy were brilliant beyond their years but the other band of the evening, The London Dirthole Company, were just noise to me (I think having 3 drummers is a little bit exsessive...).

Pat Burtscher was on the bill last time I came to this gig and I really enjoyed his set, but tonight he did seem to be lacking (he put it down to having eaten a corned beef sandwich instead of a pear).

I'd seen Edward Aczel perform at the Lyric Hammersmith earlier in the year and had quite enjoyed his comedy. He gave a smooth set that went down well with the crowd.

A thought.

Jonny Sweet's performance in When Dave Met Boris is outstanding!

Friday, 9 October 2009

We Need Answers (7th And 8th Of October).

Last night and the night before I went to the recording of We Need Answers for BBC4 which is hosted by Mark Watson, Tim Key and Alex Horne. Terry Christian and Camilla Dallerup were the contestants on the first night, and last night we had Aggie MacKenzie and Peter Tatchell.

I enjoyed the first recording slightly more as the guests were excellent. Don't get me wrong the second night was good too, it was just that MacKenzie and Tatchell were a bit... difficult.

Tim Key is a fabulous question master; I just adore the way he interacts with the contestants (especially the female ones).

I found this conversation between Aggie and Tim particulary funny:

Aggie (to Key): You're a funny man, aren't you?
Mark: Well Aggie, he is a comedian.
Aggie (to Key): Are you? Are you a comedian?
Key: Yeah. (the facial expressions and body language were so, so funny when he answered)
Aggie: Really?!

Mark's turn of phrase is brillaint and I love his running commentry as he talks to the producer via an ear piece.

Last night Lloyd Woolf, Stefan Golaszewski and Katy Wix were in the audience!

A thought.

Chocolate should be a "diet food".

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Totally Acoustic.

Last night I went to The Lamb near Russell Square to see MJ Hibbett's Totally Acoustic. I went mainly to see Gavin Osborn, but I really enjoyed Mark Hibbet's set and Winston Echo showed great potential too.

I missed seeing Gavin's show in Edinburgh and this was by far the longest set i'd seen him play. He was accompanied by Amy Butterworth on violin which made his beautiful whimpsy songs pull on my heart strings more than usual. It was lovely to hear him play 2 songs from Stories For The Starlit Sky again; i've been wanting to hear the song about 77 year old Albert again and i'm so glad I got the chance.

He was so well received that he came back to sing 2 more songs for encore (a Billy brag cover and a one of my favourite songs of his, Over 30). It was a really pleasant evening... the kind of evening where you just can't stop smiling.

A thought.

I'd really like to get away from everything so I can clear this foggy head of mine.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Ready For This? Reading.

When I booked tickets in February I asked to sit close to the front and to the left of centre. I had a mild panic when I discovered my tickets were positioned in the front row and right in front of the microphone stand. I walked out and swapped my front row ticket for a balcony seat with a friend. I don't think i've ever sat that far back before, but I really enjoyed the view (however, I did miss being able to see his facial expressions).

The first half was a pretty standard set and I loved that he put the high handed piano hits in Prejudice; I haven't seen him do that in a while.

The second half was one of the best i've seen. His bear, Chris, was studying Classical and had a long fringe which covered his eyes when he put on the head. Tim took great pleasure in making sure that he could see (poking his fingers into the eye holes and pushing his "emo hair" to the side) and even asked the stage hands for scissors at one point (although, he didn't actually end up cutting his hair).

Chris was a very enthusiastic bear and Tim had to grab him and sit him back down at one stage as he started dancing too soon. When it was the right time to get up and dance, he gave it his all and pulled some pretty "interesting" moves (the bear head must have felt like it was falling off as he danced while holding it firmly in place the entire time).

If You Really Loved Me blew me away; those piano solos are absolutley brilliant. At one point in the song Tim's hands are hitting the ivory so fast all I could see was a blur.

There was a new backing track for Storm tonight (a live jazz band recording) and it seemed to add a whole other dimension to Minchin's beat poem about rational thinking.

Before the encore Tim ad-libbed a couple of songs. "There are big socks in all the shops" was sung as he tried to justify singing White Wine In The Sun (the Christmas song). He then went on to sing about the venue "we're rockin' in a hexegon as it's so much better then rockin' in a square" (or something to that effect) before finally launching into his stunning festive ballad.

A thought.

When your friends are sad it brings your mood down too.

Clark's.

On Saturday night I went to the 100 Club for Clark's. The line-up featured Cardinal Burns, Arnab Chanda, Tim Key, Jack Whitehall and Pappy's Fun Club, the MC was Dan Clark.

Cardinal Burns sketches and songs were so, so funny... although at times, a little bit racist.

Arnab Chanda told really punchy, and at the same time adorable, jokes (think an American Matt Kirshen) and was accompanied by Dan Clark who played guitar. The backing music was the perfect touch to his set.

Tim Key was his same brilliant self, unfortunately he was heckled towards the end of his slot (by some Whitehall fans) which seemed to put him off slightly. Dan Clark gave them a telling off and then got the audience to call the heckler a cunt.

Most of my friends aren't exactly what you call fans of Jack Whithall but I had no pre-judgements when he took to the stage. His jokes are good but his delivery is exactly like Russell Brand's...

It was the first time i'd seen Pappy's Fun Club and they were fantastic. They had the crowd roaring with laughter at their often ridiculous sketches. They seem to have so much fun on the stage; Tom was clearly the stand-out.

Dan Clark was the perfect MC; he looked after his acts and warmed the crowd efficiantly. I thought his musical comedy was very good.

It was such a fun night out and there is no doubt i'll be back for Clark's in November.

A thought.

Lloyd Woolf's Says is a truly wonderful blog.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

National Theatre Foyer - Duke Special.

Last night I went to watch Duke Special (accompanied by Ben Castle and Chip Bailey) play a short set in the foyer of the National Gallery. They plan to hold these gigs after their Mother Courage performance every Friday (and maybe Saturday too!) until the play closes.

The sound in that space was incredible. I got a lump in my throat during the high notes in Wake Up Scarlett, the sound peirced my heart.

They are such an entertaining bunch and I was in stitches during Darling Of The Jockey Club (A Bitch Called Wanda) as Ben and Chip ran out from around the corner to do the backing vocals during every chorus. I also like Duke's introduction to the song "... and they get off at the end".

My friends and I were sitting on lounges with a great view of the ivory.

I hope to got to many more.

A thought.

I need to find some motivation.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Mr & Mrs Dewar.


Dear Mummy,

You looked so beautiful on your wedding day, but please can you eat something?!

Love your concerned daughter,

Simone x

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Ready For This? High Wycombe.

This was my favourite so far on this tour; a really fun show.

The theatre was really modern and the sound was so crisp, but it did feel very open (and a little empty) and I could only hear the very few people that were sitting around me (I thought it was just a really quiet crowd...).

There were a lot of little mistakes which makes it all the more funnier to those who've seen the show more times than is necessary. The wrong ending was sung during the 2nd movement in Confessions and If I Didn't Have You needed to be re-started 3 times.

There was a guy in the second row (Murray, who turned out to be our bear) who was wearing a really bright and distracting t-shirt and while Tim was talking to him about said shirt someone yelled out "bioluminescnece" which prompted some very hilarious ad-libbing. The funniest for me was the little story about the fish who wouldn't need a night-light while reading in bed.

"Murray-bear" was great. He was wearing baggy black trousers with chains and Tim took one off and attached it to his (zebra/black and white tiger) skinny jeans. When Murray put the bear hat on his "emo fringe" was covering his eyes so he couldn't see and Tim took a few minutes to put this right. I do love the way Mr Minchin plays the keytar as the bear takes off the suit (which was thrown with such force, as was the chair, at John when the sing finished).

Not Perfect was a song that i'd been wanting to hear for encore for a long time, 'twas lovely.

A thought.

I loved the Scooby Doo impression during Storm tonight.

Ready For This? Cambridge.

I really like Cambridge, it's pretty and has a lot of old fashioned bikes with baskets on the front. I had lunch with friends and did a lot of walking. Over lunch we talked to the American's about the differences in common sayings (quite funny) and I was told that I am way too paranoid and I over-think things.

Our tickets said that we were sitting in row E, which turned out to be the front row. It was a pretty good view and my gaze was usually drawn to Tim's hands; particulary good when he played The Good Book, If You Really Loved Me and Darkside. The only downside of sitting front row and slightly to the left of centre meant that the lights were directly in my eyes for Ready For This?, I Love Jesus and Storm.

The bear tonight was a die-hard fan and although he was quite good and threw some pretty funky moves, I think it works better when the he's caught off-guard. Mr Minchin noticed that both spotlights were on the bear and he asked where his spotlight was, cue the most English heckle ever: "it's behind you!".

There were lots of funny little ad-libs about cream. A guy down in front that was 40 but looked about 30 promted Tim to ask what cream he used and it escalated from there. Mr Minchin said that we all had our own associations with cream and that's what made it funny, from the farmers, to those who were fans of the band, to the teenage boys. Whenever there was a slightly awkward pause in the show Tim just had to say "cream" and we all got the giggles.

White Wine In The Sun was sung for encore and it was really, really beautiful. The last time I heard that song live was when I was in Perth and I was sitting next to Mummy and she was holding my hand.

A thought.

Nostalgia is a nice feeling.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Sammy J In The Forest Of Dreams. Epsom.

Yesterday I caught the train to Epsom after work to see Sammy J in the Forest of Dreams one last time. It was an odd town and a very small audience (the entire audience ended up telling Sammy and Heath our names), but it was by far the best performance i'd seen.

It went overtime by half an hour due to plenty of ad-libs that had me slumped in my chair (caused by extensive laughter). The door knocking sillyness must have continued for a good 10 minutes; Farlo and Fish-bucket started eating the set to see if it would make the audience laugh (it did) and then Fishbucket did some stand-up.

Terry the squirrel was a favourite.

A thought.

I hate stage doors.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Ready For This? Brighton.

It's always so nice to jump on a train after work on a Friday afternoon bound for fun. This Friday the train was destined for Brighton to see another of Tim Minchin's shows on his second tour of Ready For This?.

Upon arrival we headed to a pub around the corner from the Brighton Dome (where Tim was to be performing that evening) for drinks and lovely chats with the angry (feet)ers - always such a joy.

The audience were very vocal and seemed to know most of Mr. Minchin's work. Loud cheers ensued after each song was introduced; 'If I Didn't Have You' getting the loudest.

I loved how far the Jesika joke has come along since last Saturday and he seemed to be a lot more confident on the keytar.

Jamie was very entertaining and really got into his role as the dancing bear.

The highlights for me were when Tim's voice cracked during 'Confessions' and he promised everyone a 20p refund for his cock-up, when he descibed life as a spiritual Tupperware party ("everyon'e trying to sell you see-through crap you dont need") and the introduction/"talky-bit" to Darkside (he'd bought a new piano and just like a new car, he had to give it a thrashing).

After the show we went and hung out at the stage door and waited for Tim. We were lucky enough to have a little chat before calling it a night. It was also lovely to say a hello to Chris Cox, who had also made the trip south to catch the show.

A thought.

I am awkward.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Mother Courage And Her Children.

On Thursday I went to the National Theatre to see Mother Courage and Her Children featuring music by Duke Special and his band.

The music, set, staging, special effects and acting were absolutely brilliant but I just felt the play as a whole was just that little bit too long. I've heard this is to be expected of a Brecht play.

Mother Courage is an anti-war play set in the 1600's Europe and tells the tale of a mother of 3 scrounging off the war. Slowly and surely the war kills her children and sends her to poverty.

Duke and his band were wonderful, but there just wasn't enough of their music in the show for my liking. At one point Duke was playing right of centre stage and his profile was projected in black and white onto two huge canvas's on either side of the stage (one inverted), which looked so cool. The closing song gave me goosebumps; picture Mr Special standing centre singing un-accompanied with the exception of a tenor drum that he beated to keep time.

It was great to share the evening with some lovely friends, some of which I hadn't seen in a very long time.

A thought.

I have a few too many obsessions of late. I'm having trouble keeping up.

Mostly About Arthur.

On Wednesday I went to a really beautiful pub in Kensal Rise called Paradise to see Jonny Sweet perform the show that won him "Best Newcomer" in Edinburgh this year. It was wonderful and not at all like your average comedy show.

'Mostly About Arthur' is a memorium about Jonny's late brother who was a blurbist.

Sweet's character is quite a simple man and I just loved the his dialogue throughout the performance. The laughs were mainly at sayings, mannerisms and facial expression (sometimes reminding me a little of Key or Basden) - which I am a big fan of in comedy. I really enjoyed the interaction with the audience too.

I'd recommend taking a look if ever the opportunity arrises.

A thought.

I stalk too much.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Secret Gig. Underworld. Camden. Midnight.

In the wee hours of Monday morning I was at Underworld in Camden watching Amanda Palmer. She started playing at 12.30 and didn't finish until around 3.30; it was AMAZING.

I held a young Americans (Jake) spot in the queue when he went to check if he could go straight through as he was on the guest list. To repay me for the favour, he let me be his +1 and I got to walk straight through too. It allowed me to secure a place close enough that I could at least see her face (that's the problem with being short at standing gigs).

Amanda came out in her underwear and the audience got to dress her by passing up items of clothing. She changed outfits every 3-4 songs which were picked out by Neil Gaimen's daughter, Holly.

Some songs were accompanied by an absolutely stunning and talented viola player, Una, and Neil Gaimen read us all a story from 'Who Killed Amanda Palmer' (their collaborated book).

Set list:

Sex Changes
The Time Has Come (it'd been 2 years since Ms Palmer played this song and she'd forgotten the lyrics. An audience member got the lyrics up un their iphone to help her out.)
Missed Me (with Una on viola)
Blake Says (with Una on viola)
Mandy Goes To Med School
I Google You
Astronaut
Bank of Boston Beauty Queen
(Neil Gaiman reads us a story)
Runs In The Family
Mrs O
Fake Plastic Trees (Radiohead cover, AFP on ukelele)
Guitar Hero
Ampersand
Oasis (with puppets)
Girl Anachronism (with puppets)
Bad Habit
Coin Operated Boy
Half Jack (with Una on viola, extended intro)
(encore)
Leeds United
Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen cover)
Oasis (again.. at the request of the bar manager who danced onstage with AFP's "stylist", Holly Gaiman.)

During Delilah (a truly emotional song) I looked over at the balcony and Neil was giving Holly a lovely cuddle and they both had the most content smiles on their faces. It was beautiful. I had tears streaming down my face.

There are some truly wonderful photos of the evening by Hannah Daisy here.

A thought.

If I ever came close to writing such an intellingent and articulate blog like my friend Anna, i'll be very pleased indeed.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Ready For This? Southampton.

Last night I went to Southampton to see Tim Minchin on his second UK tour of Ready For This?. I was left gobsmacked by the grandeur of it all, Minchin is definitely every inch the rock star. Big fuck-off tour truck? Check. Lighting Designer? Check. Kick-arse set? Check. Keytar? Check. Pyrotechnics? Check.

He oozed confidence during the new "talky bits" and I really enjoyed the call-back from the opening joke in Darkside. The piano solo's have been re-written and the audience seemed to love the addition of one of his older songs in replace of YouTube Lament, as did I.

Roll on Friday and Brighton, I say.

A thought.

Travelling on your own is definitely not as fun as when you travel with friends.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Clubbing It 100 Style.

Last night I went to the 100 Club for an allstar line-up; Mark Watson, Richard Herring, Freeze!, Angelos Epithemiou and MC, Dan Clark. It was such a good gig, the type of gig that keeps you awake at night thinking about how good it was.

I've never seen or heard of Angelos Epithemiou until I tuned in to Shooting Stars last week. I loved his little dance in a silver spandex suit, but felt that he tended to repeat the same phrases/jokes during his "talk".

I was little bit disappointed by Richard Herring. Don't get me wrong, the material he did was well-written and funny... it's just that i've seen him do it so many times in the past. His Mars Bar gag was very Stuart Lee-esque (plagerism?).

Freeze! was definitely the highlight for me. Tim Key and Tom Basden made me laugh so much that I was left with a serious case of face-ache (the only other time that happened was the first preview of Andrew Maxwell's 'The Lamp' at Fat Tuesday). The Sir Stephen Redgrave sketch became even funnier when the thrown beer ricocheted off the wall and into the audience. Basden's 'Gang Bang Girl' was accompanied by Key, who waned interest when the lyrics turned "horrid". Their set came to an end with a carefully choreographed dance routine, which was absolutely brilliant. I recieved a text about when i'd arrived home that needs sharing: "I can't get over how unsexy Key's dancing was... IT WAS INCREDIBLE!".

Mark Watson headlined the evening with some new stuff sprinkled among the old, and it was as funny and endearing as ever. I love the honesty and observations in his material as I can always relate; the "it's funny 'cause it's true" kind of comedy.

I wasn't really digging Dan Clark as MC and I have no idea why. There was just something about him that left me feeling cold.

A thought.

1am bed times are not really appropriate for someone that has to wake up at 6.30am Monday to Friday.

Monday, 7 September 2009

'Citing.

I've booked a ticket to Amanda Palmer's secret gig on the 13th September. I think it's going to be ace!

"so here we go, yo:

i'll be starting at 12/midnight late sunday the 13th, the night after the second union chapel show.

there won't be any support.

i have no idea how long the show will go...probably until i get too plastered, and/or - more likely - too sleepy.

most likely it will be an all-requests fuckshow of love. i've been brushing up on lots of old songs and i know i won't play half of them at the union chapel shows since we have a REALLY tight curfew there (10:30)."

A thought.

This might just be the best tweet ever! Oh, and 'cunty' should so be a word... "i know this sounds cunty, but can someone pls open a proper dry cleaners in central oxford? my clean trousers smell like a fucking horse." (tweeted by @BenGoldacre).

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Deloitte Ignite.

Today I went to The Royal Opera House to catch the free 'New Magic' shows. The first show featured Chris Cox and Ali Cook, and the second Barry and Stuart and Pete Firman.

Chris Cox gave a very enjoyable and tight set and had us all in a fit of giggles when he pulled the piss out of one of his helpers (who was a great sport). I sat with my eyes closed for most of Ali Cook's set as I don't particulary like watching somebody swallow razor blades. Being in the front row meant that I ended up with blood in my lap... not very nice.

Barry and Stuart were okay but Pete Firman was definitley the better out of the two acts. I'd seen most of his tricks before but they never tire, he's always such a joy to watch. I lent him a £5 note which he tore and fused back together. Magical!

A thought.

After a high comes a low. It never ends.

Live At The Chapel.

Last night I went to The Invisible Dot presents Live at the Chapel. The Union Chapel is such a lovely venue even if sitting on pews does leave you with a very sore bottom.

It had an ace line-up including Phil Kay, Pippa Evans as Loretta Maine, Lee Mack, Mark Watson and Alan Cochrane as MC.

I've seen Phil Kay give much better performances in the past. I really don't think sticking a beer bottle up your bottom or copying people's laughs is all that funny. I did enjoy his story about overtaking a police car though.

Pippa Evans as Loretta Maine was brilliant. Awesome voice and fabulous attitude; I just adore Loretta Maine.

Lee Mack was the secret television guest that they couldn't reveal and I have to say I was somewhat disapointed... I think I set my expectations way too high. His set was good and the crowd really seemed to enjoy it but i'd heard most of the material before at Old Rope and the Lyric Hammersmith gig.

Mark Watson was by far my favourite act of the evening. He did a lot of observational comedy about becoming a Father and it was wonderful and charming and funny all at the same time.

Alan Cochran wasn't your typical up-beat MC but still managed to warm the crowd accordingly. His material reminded me an awful lot of Jon Richardson.

A thought.

The internet steals time.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

The Weather Party.

I've been reading about the Weather Party on Lloyd Woolf's blog as well as following all the latest updates on twitter for about a month. I was so intrigued at what this party could bring that I went (oh, and I was gently persauded by a friend).

Long story short, Mr Woolf has developed a bit of a love with weathermen (and women) of late and so decided to put on a "buy a weatherperson a drink" bash. The idea was that we all go to a pub, some weatherpeople show up and we chat and buy them drinks. It was also an oppurtunity to raise money for UNICEF's cimate change campaign.

It was a lot of fun. There was a about 20 of us in a cornered off section of a pub in central London, including an ex weather presenter, Benn, and a Meteorologist, Paul.

£39.22 was raised and there was lots of weather related chat. A graphic designer from Innocent Smoothies was among the guests and he'd made us all name tags ("Hello. My name is....". "My preferred weather is...") and little placard's that needed filling in (I met a weatherperson, and tonight I learned..." and "On the date... I promise the weather will be...") which was then signed by either Benn or Paul, depending on who gave you a fact/prediction.

Hello. My name is Simone.

My preferred weather is sunny.

I met a weatherperson, and tonight I learned that the weather in Columbo, Sri-Lanka, is 9 out 0f 10 times wetter than Islamabad, Pakistan, during the wet season (February to March).

On the date 24.09.09, Benn promises the weather will be heavily raining, mainly in the north, with sunny intervals in the south-east.

A thought.

The comment "she's not overweight. Well, she's about Simone's size... but that's not overweight for a 60 year old" will hurt my feelings.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Duke Special at UCL.

Last night I went to Duke Special's last gig of the year (they're joining the cast of Mother Courage at The National Theatre).

Mr Special was accompanied by a full band which added to the joy. There was a great mix of old and new songs and the very appreciative crowd danced and sang along to all of them.

I loved watching Ben Castle, Chip Bailey and Paul Pilot... sometimes I was so busy watching them play that I completley forgot Duke was onstage. Duke Special has such a beautiful voice and his charming shyness is enough to melt the hardest of hearts.

He came back to play three encore songs (including a Mother Courage preview); finishing by tipping over the piano and diving off the stage. He took ages to come out for the encore but we were assured it wasn't to whip us into a frenzy, he just "needed the toilet so bad".

A thought.

I think everybody should watch this.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Stories For The Starlit Sky.

Last night it was back to Regent's Park at midnight to see the latest and last installment from Daniel Kitson and Gavin Osborn.

The story was a story within a story. It told the tale of a young boy with insomnia and the story that his Dad had told him in an attempt to send him off to sleep; a whimsical naration about village assassins.

A truly lovely evening was had.

A congratulations.

To Tim Key and Jonny Sweet who each won an Edinburgh Comedy Award yesterday. Well deserved if you ask me. I am overjoyed by the news.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Early Birthday Wishes.

I received my first birthday card from my Grandparents today and it was beautiful:

Granddaughter,
It's easy to see you're someone who's special in so many ways...
You're thoughtful,
You're considerate,
You're lovely inside and out - and most of all,
You're someone who makes others feel special in return...

So on your birthday,
Wishing you all the happiness you bring,
Because you're a wonderful granddaughter,
And you're loved very much.

Thank you Grandma and Grandpa. I love you!

A thought.

It's inevitable, in a months time I will be the outsider at work. I couldn't care less.

Edinburgh Fringe. Day 8.


My last day in Edinburgh was a little bit of a let down. I tried, unseccessfully, to get tickets for Party and The Hotel, so spent the day sight-seeing instead.

In the early evening I met up with a friend at the Pleasance Courtyard and saw Tom Basden again. We had better seats this time but I did feel that he was rushing through. He has such a lovely voice, he's another musical comedian that i'd like to hear sing serious songs.

After a long cab ride accross town I arrived at the HMV Picture House to see Amanda Palmer. Upon approaching the queue I spotted her giving an impromptu performance to a small crowd of fans a little way up the street. I think she was singing Science Fiction from Rocky Horrow Picture Show.

We stood our way through a mediocure band and an interesting and very alternative dance troup before Amanda took to the stage accompanied by a brass band. She sang a few solo songs and one Dresden Doll's song before reading out a short story from her and Neil Gaiman's new book (Mr. Gaiman came out after her reading and treated us with a story too!).

As much as I wanted to stay, it was impossile if I wanted to make my coach. It was a rather rushed goodbye to a city I adored. No doubt i'll be back same place and same time next year.

Edinburgh Fringe. Day 7.

Another day and another early show, this time it was the Collings and Herring Podcast at the Underbelly. Andrew and Richard work so well together and it helped that Mr. Herring was on fire (his words, not mine but it was very true).

I spent the early afternoon packing and then it was off to the Pleasance Courtyard for an evening of entertainment, first up was Pippa Evans followed by Sarah Millican and Tim Key.

I had seen Pippa's preview in London and was quite worried that I may be disappointed. I almost feel ashamed to have thought that; it was truly lovely show. It was based around a variety show (a shambolic one at that) in which she played all the characters, Loretta Maine even made an appearance!

Sarah Millican was another preview i'd seen in London and to be honest, I think i'd enjoyed the preview more. Maybe it was due to the fact that the material was new and exciting for Sarah and myself when I saw it in London....?

Tim Key's 'The Slutcracker' was absolutely frickin' brilliant! I'd caught the preview at The Invisible Dot prior to the Fringe and thought it good but the final cut was something to behold. The set, the slides and the interaction with his sound guy, "Fletch", was made of awesome (Stephen Merchant was in the audience!).

I had bought a ticket to Ali McGregor's Late Nite Variety Nite but it clashed with Tim Key (which was pointed out to me earlier in the day). A few friends were going to see Sammy J In The Forest Of Dreams at midnight and as it was now do-able, I did it. We secured front row seats and I was lucky enough to be plucked from the audience to join Sammy on stage for a very breif dance.

Edinburgh Fringe. Day 6.


We were up early to catch Robin Ince's celebration of science show 'Carl Sagon Is My God, Oh And Richard Fynman Too' with Isy Lawrence and Peter Buckley Hill. Robin's passion and Isy's rants were a great way to start the day.

In the early afternoon we went to Robin Ince's Book Club featuring Ali McGregor, Helen Arney, Amy Butterworth and Carrie Quinlan. We were read to from some utterly ridiculous books and were treated to some lovely music.

My first ticketed show of the day was Sammy J's '1999'. It told the tale of a teenage boy and the way he dealt with his bully, all accompanied by some truly humerous songs. I think it's very hard not to like Sammy's comedy.

There was a quick dash up the stairs of the Underbelly to see Heath McIvor's 'Randy's Postcards From Purgatory'. Although I enjoyed Randy's tales (through Heath's excellent puppetry skills) the room seemed dead and lifeless.

After making a quick pitstop at the flat for some nutrience, I headed to the Guilded Ballon for Axis Of Awesome. The onstage banter between Benny, Lee and Jordan was so, so funny. My favourite song was 4 Chords, love it!

The last show of the evening was 'Purple Ronnie's Stand-up Poetry Club' at the Udderbelly with Luke Wright, Phil Jupitus and Dockers MC. It was a very cool gig but I just needed my bed and started to a get a little fed-up towards the end.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Edinburgh Fringe. Day 5.

I think I may have fallen asleep before my head hit the pillow but I was up at a reasonable hour (through excitement I think) and managed to make it to The Early Edition. Alongside Marcus Bridgestoke and Andre Vincent were Carrie Quinlan and Phil Jupitus. I wish I could start every day with a show like this. I love the way they don't care about offending or trying to be politically correct.

Next up was Party which I had been looking forward to for ages. It was written and stared Tom Basden (as well as Tim Key) so I was bound to enjoy it, turns out I enjoyed it a lot (surprise!). Long story short it was about a group of youths starting a political party and having to work out policies, roles, names etc. Tim Key's character Duncan stole the show; a stunning performance.

We'd caught wind that Adam Hills and Jason Byrne were doing Comedy Club 4 Kids and figured this was an oppurtunity we couldn't pass up. The show was hosted by Tiernan Douieb and also featured David O'Doherty and it proved very, very funny (especially for my friends and I who are children at heart).

We got a quick bite to eat before heading back to The Bongo Club for Simon Amstell; a show I found somewhat disappointing. I had seen a couple of previews and I just seemed to enjoy those shows so much more, I felt he kept losing his way and only half-finishing his jokes. I think this was largely due to the fact that he contributed so much time and effort at The 24 Hour Show.

The next show of the day was Camille O'Sullivan's 'Dark Angel' at Assembly Hall. Camille seemed very calm and didn't really show much of her quirky side during this performance. Her stunning voice filled every inch of the very large and beautiful venue. My favourite songs were 5 Years and These Shoes.

My brain was obviously not function properly when I thought it would be a great idea to have several glasses of wine when I got back to the flat and go out (again!) to catch Fordy's Lock-in. I didn't know any of the comedians except for Carl Donnelly (who just sat at the bar on-stage and sipped his beer) and I spent the entire show extremely bored. The wine gave me an excuse to speak my mind and I did quite a bit of complaining.

After the show we went upstairs to catch Brendan Burns headlining Just The Tonic. I hadn't been all that impressed with Mr. Burns in the past as I found his comedy very aggressive. However after his great contribution the previous day, my views seemed to change and I thouroughly enjoyed his set.

Edinburgh Fringe. Day 4.


The 24 Hour Show was, by far, the best 24 hours of my life. It's so sad to think that this was Mark Watson's last one (however i'm hopeful that he'll do something equally awesome for future Fringe Festival's).

The show started 20 minutes late due to a few technical hitches and so we could celebrate (we ended up celebrating by singing a Christams Carol. I can't even remember how that came about!) every hour, on the hour, we came up with a new time zone which was named New Scottish Time (20 minutes behind British Summer Time).

Tim Minchin sent a video that was played towards the end of the day. In it he said he didn't know what to say because we may have decided that we weren't going to use verbs. He certainly hit the nail on the head in terms of what goes on during these epic shows.

The best way I can descibe the 24 hour show is to draw similarities to Telethon (a comedy Telethon...?). Nothing seemed to be planned, if you were there and you could contribute then the stage was yours. My favourite contributers were Tim Key, David O'Doherty, Andrew McClelland, Chris Cox, Brendan Burns, Simon Amstell, Dan Walmsley and Teirnan Douieb.

My highlights included "What's the New Scottish Time Mr. Wolf", Teirnan Douieb leading us in an electric boogaloo and The Lovely Band singing Creep. The only thing that annoyed me was when Paul Foot showed up late in the day and drew attention to himself by announcing that he'll purposefully leave 5 minutes before the end.

Twitter played a very important role in the day with tweets being sent out every few minutes which allowed people at home, work etc to join in on the fun. We got lots of re-tweets and feedback about New Scottish Time; very amusing.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Edinburgh Fringe. Day 3.


I was up early and down at the Pleasance Courtyard to see John Hegley's 'The Adventure Of Monsieur Robinet'. It was quirky, insightlful and a little bit abstract; I loved it. The story he read in French about a potato (interpreted by an audience member) was brilliant.

I rested most of the afternoon and mucked around with my friends in the flat before heading back to the Pleasance Courtyard for Jon Richardson. A lovely tight show full of laughs. I do like listening to Jon and "his ways".

In between Jon Richardson and Geraldine Quinn my friends and I got stuck in a lift. After a bit of panicking and speaking to an un-helpful engineer we manged to open the doors and jump the short distance down to the ground floor. We ran all the way to the Underbelly and made it to the show just in time. I enjoyed the songs (Geraldine has a great voice), but felt the stand-up was lacking.

Next stop was Pleasance Dome to queue for prime position at The 24 Hour Show. Exciting!

Monday, 24 August 2009

Edinburgh Fringe. Day 2.


After having a proper night's sleep I headed down the road to The GRV to see Martin White's 'Accordian Of The Gods'. It was the first show in his Edinburgh run which resulted in a few technical hitches. "B flat" was such a laugh, I can't wait to hear that song again.

Today was the day in which Team Tiernan were finally going to show their support in a 3D way rather than purely virtually. I had only seen Tiernan MC in the past, so it was rather different seeing him do a solo show. I really enjoyed it, a lovely and charming performance (after seeing the show, I now want a badge that says "I am not a concept"). I assume he appreciated our support judging by the smile on his face when we posed for a photo.

Next up was Pajama Men all the way over at Assembly @ George Street. I'd heard only good things about thier show and although I did enjoy it, I wouldn't rave about it. After speaking to a friend who had seen it on an alternative night, I have come to the conclusion that they had an off night. I felt they broke character a lot and their mimes where quite sloppy.

David O'Doherty's O'Doh-Party was one of my highlights of the Fringe. His light-hearted comedy and silly songs are such a joy to watch. He played in a kick-arse venu too which just added to the charm.

The last show of the evening was Daniel Kitson at The Stand. It was a work in progress and i'd heard mixed reviews. It went for a whopping 2 hours and 15 minutes and I have to say that I was a little relieved when it ended. The funny bits were extremely funny, but it really needed to be edited. He seemed to be quite distracted at times and lost his temper with an audience member which made me feel very uncomfortable.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Edinburgh Fringe. Day 1.

Going to five shows on the first day in an unfamiliar city isn't really the smartest thing to do. There were two shows which I nearly missed (one due to start time failure and the other due to getting lost).

The first show that I went to see was The Hotel. We assembled at the Assembly @ George Street and were guided to a charming little hotel about 5 minutes away. All the guests were encouraged to explore their surroundings. We started off in the restaurant; a very stereotypical restaurant which slightly silly changes. We were serenaded by the waiters who while not singing, created a bit of un-ease among the guests with their bickering and non-sense.

From the restaurant we made our way to the caberet room to hear Pippa Evans as Loretta Maine. It was such a joy to catch her doing what she does best. Other rooms included the chill-out room, the kitchen (where I was scared by one of the chefs and screamed the place down), the wellness centre, the business centre and the meditation room.

My favourite room was the administration room, it was here that I had my scarf taken away by a set of eyes behind a white wall, measured from nose to tit and was felt up by some hands prodruding from a walk-way. The lost and found room was right next to the administration room and in an attempt to get my scarf back I was stared at, shouted at and had a door slammed in my face.

Our stay ended when a "catagory C" broke out and all the guests became stuck on the staircase and the owner of The Hotel had quite a disturbing and public meltdown.

From The Hotel we made our way to the Pleasance Courtyard to see Tom Basden 'Now That's What I Call Music-Based Comedy'. The room was quite stifeling and we were sat on an angle that made it a little hard to see the white screen at the back of the stage, but overall I enjoyed the show. He left out two songs from the preview (Gang-bang Girl and Wan Nee), which I missed a little bit. His new musical instument, which consisted of a fan taped to a cap and a wind-chime was brilliant and I also enjoyed the queuing song at the end which I hadn't heard before (in saying that, i'm not sure it was the right song to end the show).

Next up was Chris Cox at the Pleasance Dome. I had seen Chris's preview back in London and as much as I had enjoyed it, there had been quite a few things that were a little... clunky. This was not the case tonight, everything worked 100% and he played to a very apreciative crowd.

I walked the short distance from the Pleasance Dome to the Udderbelly to see Rhys Darby. All in all I enjoyed the show, however sometimes I did think that fame had gone to his head. His sound effects and physical comedy had me in stiches. It was his last night at the Fringe and he over-ran for a good 10 minutes before smashing up his set and bending a microphone stand.

The last show of the day was Adam, Jason and Friends. Our "friends" included Sowetto Gospel Chior (This Little Light Of Mine gave me goosebumps), Jamie Kilstein (who had a few unpleasant heckles) and David O'Doherty (his ROFL joke was brilliant). I do love the madness that unfolds when Adam and Jason get together, it's almost like watching a hyperactive child and his very lenient and playful Dad.