Sunday, 25 December 2011

Ten-Year Self-Improvement Challenge. Update Ten,

Initial challenge can be found here and this is my update:

1) Okay, so I haven't been reading books... I have, however, been reading fashion magazines religiously. I promise to try harder.

2) I said hello to someone i've been meaning to say hello to for ages and a friend introduced me to someone else who i've wanted to introduce myself to for a while. Not bad.

3) I've been very slack for past 3 months, but have just bashed out several "recap" blogs.

4) Fail.

5) I'm so much better at keeping in touch with family and friends back home than I was when I started this challenge. Tick.

6) I've been so good all year and then it got cold and i've struggled. Still, i'm 3 dress sizes smaller than I was this time, last year.

A thought.

I've completely changed my life around this year and I have become a better person; there is still room for improvement. A lot less selfish, more happy and comfortable in who I am.

Recap. December. 2011.

Humphrey Ker Is Dymock Watson: Nazi Smasher. Pleasance Theatre.

Fantastically written and wonderfully performed. Kudos.

Karaoke Circus. Bethnal Green Working Man's Club.

The official start of Christmas. Best performance: Tony Gardner (yes, that is my woop at the start of the video).

The Leisure Society Meets The Heritage Orchestra. Barbican.

Supported by Lonely Deer. Absolutely fantastic gig, my only regret was that I was very tired and had to rest my eyes for the last couple of songs.

Tim Key: Masterslut. Soho Theatre.


Freeze! Duke Of York Theatre.

Tim Key was on fine form. There may have been alcohol involved.

The Joy Of Sketch. Lyric Theatre.

The Penny Dreadfuls, Pappy's, Will & Greg, Idiots of Ants, Late Night Gimp Fight, Pajama Men, 2 Episodes Of Mash and Anna & Katy. Enough said.

I recommend reading Anna's review of the evening.

Ben Target And Robin & Partridge Work In Progress. Hen And Chickens.

Robin & Partridge are my new favourite comics. If you haven't seen them, please rectify this IMMEDIATELY.

Sheeps: Festive Bash. The Invisible Dot.

Sheeps are damn good, y'all. Mr. Swallow had some gripes about The Twelve Days of Christmas; funny.

Sam Simmons: Meanwhile. Soho Theatre.

I love this guy! Seriously. Songs and dancing and lots of sillyness. Also, profound.

Again, I recommend reading Anna's review.

9 Lessons And Carols For Godless People. Bloomsbury Theatre.

This has become a Christmas tradition; such a charming gig. Highlights included Robin Ince, Richard Herring, Jo Neary... oh and NEIL HANNON!!

A thought.

My last Christmas in the UK for quite some time and i've only just got used to celebrating in the cold.

Recap. November. 2011.

The Special Relationship. Concrete.

Without Tom Basden, Sam Taradash and Jarred McGinnis took up hosting duties. Such a wonderful night; i'm quite upset that I haven't been able to make it along to more of these monthly gigs.

Allo Darlin'. Scala.

Darren Hayman supported - he is so cool. Allo' Darlin sound rather different live. Lovely night.

Lady Garden & Friends. Leicester Square Theatre.

I'm not that keen on the direction LG are taking at them moment. Hannah Dodd still outshines the other members in my opinion. Jonny Sweet, Nick Mohammed and Pappy's were all rather wonderful.

Los Campesinos. King's College Student's Union.

Love Los Campesinos... can't say the same for their support band. Heavy Metal isn't really my thing. I'm glad I got a prime position on the balcony as i'm not really a fan of mosh pits either.

Detective Sergeant Nick Mohammed Recording. BBC Broadcasting House.

Nick was joined by Anna Crilly and Colin Hoult. Nick's character, Sophie, is my second favourite character by Nick Mohammed (the first being Mr. Swallow). "I have to go, I slept with the window open last night and have a cold arm".

Matilda: The Musical. Cambridge Theatre.

Still one of the best musicals I have ever seen; just as good one year on. I think I liked it a little more when it was performed at the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford upon Avon.

Discover Ben Target. The Invisible Dot.

Supported by Liam Williams; excellent. The funniest moment was when Ben asked his assistant that he'd picked out of the audience to hit him with the stick of humiliation and was then pounded by a sausage (not a euphemism).

William Andrews: TV. The Invisible Dot.

The Invisible Dot HQ was transformed into a television studios at part of a work in progress. Nick Mohammed as Mr. Swallow stole the show - just thinking about him wrapping up a knife in a tea towel and solving a rubik's cube on stage makes me giggle.

6 Day Riot. The Lexington.

Pippa Evans at Loretta Maine and Chris Peck supported. Fun times.

The Pin. The Invisible Dot.

A Work in Progress gig at The Invisible Dot HQ. Their closing sketch was by far the best - "may I please have the spring rolls" " is Pepsi okay?",

Mark Watson's Live Address To The Nation Recording. BBC Broadcasting House.

So much more fun when you're in the audience. See if you can spot me and my friends, yo.

Stand Up For Depression. Union Chapel.

An audience full of posh people; they were rather quiet... Daniel Kitson seemed to have lots of fun taking the piss out of them. Jonny Sweet made me get the giggle when he corpsed during his set: "ha, I just made myself laugh. Someone has to".

The Horne Section. Criterion Theatre.

The Wheel Of Wonder was on our side when it landed on Buckaroo and Boy Band - my faves. The band were joined by The Magnets, Pete Firman and Tom Basden.

A thought.

I went to York with my friend, Anna. I love families and babies and York and The Inkwell (above - I bought A Charlie Brown Christmas) and my friend Anna.

Recap. October. 2011.

Robin And Partridge: Secret Adventure Club. Various Secret Locations.

The audience were split into 4 groups depending on the item they brought along/what they wore; those who wore all black belonged to Project Mayhem, those who brought a poetry book belonged to Les Bohems, those who brought a houmous sandwich belonged to Greeks and those who wore a hack hat belonged to Hacks.

Some of the acts included Thom Tuck, Jessica Fostehew, Chris Coxen, We Are Goose, Ben Target, Doctor Brown and Paper Tiger.

The hipster that assisted Doctor Brown almost outshone the comic. Just brilliant.

Demitri Martin. Leicester Square Theatre.

What a treat to see this marvelous American comic in London. I also got to hang out with my friend, James (above), who came down from Edinburgh for the gig. I just wish I hadn't been so damn tired.

Ward & White: Fun Haus. The Camden Head.

Ward and White are among my favourite collaborators. Everything they touch turns to comedy gold.

Jerusalem. Apollo Theatre.

A gift from my awesome friend, Kate. WOAH. Give this play and Mark Rylance ALL THE AWARDS.

Helen And The Space Rocket. Etcetera Theatre.

A lecture about a librarian's favourite space probe, Voyager. Pure joy.

Max & Ivan: Are Homes And Watson. Leicester Square Theatre.

I had so much trouble trying to get a ticket to see this in Edinburgh. Absolutely cracking show! I have to go and see it again. Ivan Gonzalez, you are the greatest.

Nick Mohammed And Brendan Patricks: A Magic Show. The Invisible Dot.

Impressive. Great tricks, wonderful chemistry. Nick Mohammed "whited up" for the occasion.

A thought.

Not sure if packing up my London life and moving back to Perth will make me happy, but I can't take much more of this homesickness.

Recap. September. 2011.

Peggy Sue. The Lexington.

This gig was the album launch for their 2nd album, Acrobats. The supporting acts were Monument Valley and Laura Gibson. To date, this was my favourite music gig i've ever been to.

Treetop Flyers. Hoxton Square Bar.

Bit boring to be honest. Treetop Flyers are well and good, but I just wasn't feeling it. Their support band, The Sundowners, were absolutely awful (sorry).

ACMC. New Red Lion Theatre.

Tom Basden headlined. Tom Bell set music to Colin Firth's Oscar acceptance speech and danced; HE IS SO BRILLIANT. Nadia Kamil was a favourite.

Michael Legge: Curse Sir Walter Raleigh. Leicester Square Theatre.

He's well funny.

An Event Of Some Kind. The Black Heart.

AEOSK has changed venues and is now on a Sunday evening - a welcome change. I really wanted to like Carly Smallman, but I remain unsure. Matthew Highton gave a wonderful set and as ever, James W Smith rocked.

Story Jam. Leicester Square Theatre.

Gavin Osborn, Isy Suttie and Emmy the Great. Suffice to say it was pretty damn brilliant. Gavin Osborn has the most wonderful voice.

A thought.

I had 2 bug cups of hot tea in my nice toasty house before rugging up and going to wait for the bus in the cold. My insides felt like they were made of warm caramel.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Ten-Year Self-Improvement Challenge. Update Nine.

Initial challenge. Update:

1) I have read 0 books since my last update. I'm only letting myself down. I bought Demitri Marton's Book and I received Tim Key's new book for my birthday, so I hope to have read both of them by my next update. I have read loads of magazines (Grazia and Glamour), but that doesn't count.

2) Um. Nope. Next?

3) Done and done.

4) I've been worrying an awful lot lately and feel like i'm becoming a very anxious person. Must put an end to that and start having small, amusing thoughts again. Stupid brain.

5) I've had fun sending parcels to family back home which always ends up in email exchanges.

6) I've now lost 20 kilos since I went to the doctor in April. Having to buy new clothes has been very expensive.

A thought.

OCD is manifesting itself again. Oh man...

Double Feature: Nightwatchman. There Is A War. The Paintframe. National Theatre.

I feel i'm unable to review these 2 plays. I loved the space. I thought the actors were superb. I liked the sets and lighting and costumes and sound effects.

I had goosebumps throughout There Is A War - Tom Basden's script was amazing; the right mix of light and shade. I enjoyed Nightwatchmen too, but ashamedly I didn't know about the Sri Lankan civil war until i'd seen the play.

Please read here. Thank you.

A thought.

The trendiness of this gig made me feel massively intimidated.

Daniel Kitson And The Post-Fringe Gala Bash. The Union Chapel.

A last minute gig to showcase some of The Invisible Dot and Daniel Kitson's favourite acts from the Edinburgh Fringe. Nick Helm, Colin Hoult, Sheeps, Dan Antopolski, Tony Law and Neil Hamburger made the cut.

Kitson is good at the ol' audience banter - I think he was very proud of the numerous jibes directed at a lady who thought she had the best job; a sex therapist. I also loved how he recalled the mishaps he'd had during the day: "I thought that story would have a few more laughs in it than that".

Nick Helm was funny and scary and adorable and sounded like he'd been eating gravel. Such a talented comic! I'm so pleased his show was nominated for the Foster's Comedy Award - much deserving.

Sheeps' sketches are just wonderful, their Oliver sketch is a fave, but I felt they struggled in the HUGE venue. I think it was mainly to do with microphones.

Tony Law is so funny ("I like to call this "very long build up, tiny little punchline""). I prefer watching a set to a full show - less exhausting. Ha.

It was the first time seeing Neil Hamburger and his shtick wasn't for me. Not a big fan of one liners. Daniel Kitson quipped "I like how angry he makes some people".

For a more conclusive review, look no further than Anna's blog.

A thought.

I like how Scottish people say "soup".

Greenwich Comedy Festival: Tim Minchin. Old Royal Navel College.

For a festival pulling in some huge names, it was extremely unorganised. So many things go wrong with unorganised gigs and these are a few we experienced: an incredibly late start, a seating plan that was all over the place, cables falling down in the middle of the gig, set times that didn't make sense and difficulty exiting the venue. For someone who likes order, I found it hard to enjoy the awesome acts which included Dan Antopolski, Tim Key, Holly Walsh, Tim Minchin and MC, Dan Atkinson.

Dan Antopolski had a long set and seemed a little bit overwhelmed by the size of the audience. Minchin permitted him to use his piano for his final piece; a hidden talent. Walsh and Key made the best of their 10 minutes, but it just wasn't long enough. NOT HAPPY.

To annoy the heckler that shouted "tell us a joke" before Key's "war poetry", Minchin played with the microphone for about 5 minutes before explaining "I thought it would make her [the heckler] angry". I was very pleased that he played 'The Pope Song' and I loved the new stand-up/adaptions of old stand-up (SPOILER ALERT: "she's not even adopted... as if i'd go to Moldova... or bring up someone else's skanky child").

As always, Atkinson was pure brilliance.

A thought.

It was a lovely surprise to see The Wagontales playing next to the bar upon arrival.

Claudia O'Doherty: What Is Soil Erosion?

I've just read a great ThreeWeeks review and I couldn't have put it better myself:

"Are you a soil erosion enthusiast? Well, don't get too excited. "Let's get rill!" Claudia bellows at the audience as we are speedily guided through her 26-part documentary; bizarrely Australian TV execs have failed to see its brilliance. Recalling 'Look Around You', O'Doherty's nonsensical science demonstrations include using rocks as puppets, disintegrating a pudding and downing pints of a mysterious black fluid. Our stained turtleneck wearing host is manically enthusiastic, verging on mentally unstable, but an instantly likeable creation who confidently cruises through her own unique brand of comedy. We may learn nothing about the erosion of soil, but Claudia O'Doherty does a great job of making us giggle".

A thought.

Claudia O'Doherty pulled a Jonny Sweet with this follow-up show. If it works the first time, do it again. And why not, mate?

One Man, Two Guvnors. National Theatre.

My goodness, this show lived up to all the hype! I WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN. Damn it being expensive and so hard to get a ticket. Sterling cast (especially enjoyed James Corden, Oliver Chris and Daniel Rigby), loads of slapstick (loved the dinner scene just before the interval) and a live band in between set changes.

I could go on and on about how glorious it was, but i'd just be writing gushing gibberish. Instead I shall link you to the Guardian review. Oh, I forgot to mention the audience participation! Corden was excellent at interacting with the audience - kudos.

A thought.

Daniel Rigby is so awesome. He deserves all the success in the world.

Camden Fringe. Camden Head. Etcetera Theatre.

James W Smith: Living In Syntax. Well structured and polished show. His influences were very apparent. Thoroughly enjoyed.

Richard Tyrone Jones Has A Big Heart. A story about Richard's struggle with heart failure interspersed with poetry. Wonderful.

Leads and Stern. Average sketches. Not bad.

Iszi Lawrence's Watnot. A work-in-progress show. I think it'll be swell when it's finished; very open and honest.

Rob Deb: A Comic Book Guy. Most of the things that Rob Deb talked about went over my head.

The Pauly Show. I LOVED THIS SHOW. Really silly and a little bit awkward - right up my street. He deserved a much bigger audience.

Luke Toulson: Laid-Back Grouch. It was certainly apparent when watching Luke Toulson, that a comedy master was at work. Ace show. Would've liked more music, though.

Guardian Reader. Definitely not for me. That is all i'm going to say.

Moon Horse vs. The Mars Men Of Jupiter. A silly story with songs and lots of props. Adorable.

The Trap: X. I really did think I was going to enjoy it much more than I actually did. I'm not sure who's to blame...

A thought.

I enjoyed volunteering at the Camden Fringe. I met some very lovely people and saw some great shows.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Edinburgh Fringe 2011. Day Six.

The Choob. The Counting House. This was recommended to me by a friend. She failed to warn me that a man in his underwear might dance over me; it happened... at 12pm... Fringe time. Absurd little "whodunit" character comedy show.

Matthew Crosby: Adventure Party. Matthew Crosby nailed the commentary at The Wrestling and also put on a fine solo show. I also heard he was an amazing judge at Karaoke Circus. Nice one, sir! His chat with a girl in the audience who'd lost her job at Nando's because she "wasn't very good" was very funny.

Eric Lampaert. Pleasance Courtyard. Half an hour of show and half an hour of getting distracted. Plenty of laughs. A few routines which i'd heard a few too many times, though.

Mark Watson. Guilded Balloon. A properly structured show for a first preview, the only thing that was missing were a few more jokes. Rather self-deprecating.

Anyone For Tennis?: Prepare To Be Tuned. Guilded Balloon. This was my penultimate Fringe show and I was rather shattered. Stupid drunk lady behind pissed me off throughout by being incredibly loud (chatting/eating crisps/dropping things/looking through her bag). 'Time of the Month' made me crease - LOVE IT.

Horne Section. Assembly Gardens. There was time for one last spin of the wheel at the end of this show (hadn't happened at the other 2 shows i'd seen) which stopped on Scottish Medley; I can die happy now. Guests included Tim Vine, The Magnets and Paul Foot.

I couldn't breathe due to laughing during Paul Foot's set. Oh my goodness, the funniest thing i'd seen in some time; impulsive comedy is my absolute fave. He was going to conduct the band while he did "an old joke about cake" and then started commenting on how he was going to stand and what his face was going to look like which progressed into a story about a conductor with fruit growing out of his face. I had to do controlled breathing after he shouted "DO IT AGAIN AND FACE THE WRATH OF MY GUAVA!" at Joe Stilgoe for fear of passing out.

Paul Foot, you are my comedy hero!

A thought.

There were 2 things that I hated at the Fringe this year: 1) unnecessary PowerPoint and 2) fake corpsing.

Edinburgh Fringe 2011. Day Five.

Tony Law: Go Mr Tony Go!. The Stand. Hilarious, yet exhausting. I really enjoy Law's running commentary throughout his material. I don't know how he managed to do an hour of high energy comedy each day during the Fringe.

Joanna Neary: Youth Club. The Stand. Adorable! Loads of characters, a few songs and dancing. What's not to like? I would like to be Joanna Neary please.

Footlights: Pretty Little Panic. Pleasance Dome. Slick. Professional. Slightly homoerotic. The sillier the sketches were, the more I enjoyed them. Also, the 4 chaps were very easy on the eye.

David Reed: Shamblehouse. Pleasance Courtyard. "Combining extreme silliness with moments of total poignancy, Reed is utterly captivating, and the audience hang on his every word" - couldn't agree more. David Reed is a highly talented performer and writer and I am a huge fan.

A thought.

I was meant to see Humphrey Ker's award winning show before David Reed, but I am inept and therefore missed out. I think i'm the only one of my friends that haven't seen it. Awful.

Edinburgh Fringe 2011. Day Five.

Tom Bell: Tom Bell Begins. Tron. Warm stuffy rooms and hangovers don't mix well. I liked all the bits, but felt it was too disjointed as a whole. I agree with all the sentiments in this review.

Jigsaw. Pleasance Courtyard. Nat Luurtsema, Thomas Craine and Dan Antopolski join forces to form the brilliant sketch trio, Jigsaw. An hour of strong, tight sketches that were superbly acted. Loved it.

Colin Hoult: Inferno. Pleasance Courtyard. I love Colin Hoult's characters, but I felt they were a bit lost in the large venue that is Pleasance Two. As a theatre piece, I thought it was excellent; as a comedy, not so much.

Henry Paker: Cabin Fever. Pleasance Courtyard. I just adore Henry Paker's slightly bizarre observational material. He's still yet to top his routine about how he starts his day. "HENRY PAKER DOESN'T WAIT FOR TOAST" makes me laugh just thinking about it.

A thought.

I met an online friend in person. She was very nice. Most of my online friends I have met in person have been very nice.

Edinburgh Fringe 2011. Day Four.

Smith & Beckett. Whistlebinkies. Ian Smith is the finest up-and-coming comedian I had the chance to see at the Fringe. My only criticism is that his set was very similar to his Lunchtime Club one from last year.

Hannah Gadsby: Mrs Chuckles. Gilded Balloon. I really dislike the Gilded Balloon, but I very much like Hannah Gasby and her "if she was any more laid back, she'd be horizontal" approach to comedy. A delightful, slow paced, hour of stories about growing up in a small Tasmanian town.

Alex Horne: Seven Years In The Bathroom. Pleasance Dome. What a busy show! Alex Horne fits our entire lives into one hour of stand-up. Fun. Once again, i'd like to state how much I love his vocalised thoughts.

Tim Key: Masterslut. Pleasance Dome. I didn't think it was possible for him to top Slutcracker, but my goodness he did. I salute you, Tim Key. The most structured, beautiful show I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. Brilliant films, awesome props, wonderful poems, excellent banter. Having Daniel Kitson giggling behind me was an added highlight.

Horne Section. Assembly Gardens. The show wasn't as enjoyable from the back of the room... Guests included Boy With Tape On His Face (I adore his Lady In Red routine so much!), Antonio Forcione (TALENT), Fork and Tim Key.

A thought.

Vodka is not my friend. Rachel is.

I drank an awful lot in an attempt to keep up with my lovely friend Rachel (above) and it just couldn't be done. I know I did a lot of rambling, but i'm not entirely sure what I said. Rachel ROFLed down The Royal Mile. Literally. The next day, I experienced my first ever hangover and it was HORRIBLE.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Edinburgh Fringe 2011. Day Three.

The List Operators For Kids Do Compooters. Pleasance Courtyard. My friend Rachel and I enjoyed this, I think, much more than all the children in the audience. Oh, how I wish I could've taken my little sister to see this show! "Hashtag lame".

Jay Foreman: We're Living In The Future. Underbelly. It was a last minute decision to see this after lunch (sushi at Bonsai - YUM). A little bit Tom Basden, but lacking the charm.

The Behemoth. Pleasance Courtyard. Such inventive and original sketches from John-Luke Roberts and Nadia Kamil. I cried into a jar to help make Nadia rise from the dead. Loved the choreographed dance routine instead of blackouts. Ace review from my friend, Anna, here.

Fringe Comedy Academy: Class Of 2011. The Stand. My mate, James Walker, did his second gig ever. HE WAS THE BESTEST. See? So proud.

The Wrestling. Pleasance Courtyard. Holy shit, this gig was off the hook! My first taste of professional wrestling; I watched through my fingers, aghast. Max Olesker and Andrew Maxwell are my new heroes.

A thought.

The biggest, meanest, muscliest looking man I have ever seen fell on me at The Wrestling. I survived.

Edinburgh Fringe 2011. Day Two.

The Lunchtime Club. Tron. I had to rush off before the end as I didn't realise it ran for an hour and a half. John Kearns was my fave and I thought Flin Taylor showed heaps of potential. The line-up wasn't as good as last year.

Seminar. Pleasance Courtyard. Not bad, but I didn't think the idea was original enough.

The Baby Diary. Assembly. Lovely little play about a Christian couple in the lead up to their first baby. Great cast.

John Osborne: John Peel's Shed. Underbelly. A story about John Osborne's love of radio. My favourite show of the festival - I floated out of the venue. Have since booked to see it again in London.

Hot Tub With Kurt & Kristen. Assembly Gardens. Dancers, a singer, guests, solo sets and sketches... there was so much to like about this gig!! The guests included Doctor Brown (comedy genius) and Maeve Higgins (I would like to be her when I grow up).

Tom Rosenthal: Child Of Privilege. Pleasance Courtyard. A polished version of the preview I saw. Solid. Got a little bit distracted by David Mitchell and Victoria Coren who where sat right in front of me.

Robin & Partridge: Worlds Collide. Pleasance Courtyard. I can't, for the life of me, tell you what this show was about. All I do know was that it was bloody enjoyable. There was costumes and puppets and dancing and audience participation. Charlie Partridge and Robin Clyfan are AWESOME.

A thought.

I love it when a show makes my heart flutter.

Edinburgh Fringe 2011. Day One.

It's that time of year again. I swear it gets more expensive.

David Morgan: Triple Theatre. Tron. This was my first time seeing this young comic, but it shan't be my last. I enjoyed the show much more than I thought I would. Loved the Chicago quote in one of his many charming stories.

Sheeps. Pleasance Courtyard. This ended up being my favourite comedy show at this year's Fringe. I belly laughed the whole way through - such talented chaps! LOVE THEM (and their excellent comic timing) SO MUCH.

Sammy J & Randy: Rickett's Lane. Udderbelly Pastures. "So wrong, it's right" kind of humour, of which I am a fan. The only bit I wasn't so keen on was the nightclub scene. Watch Sammy J & Randy perform 'Secrets' here.

Paul Foot's Still Life. Underbelly. My first time seeing Paul Foot at the Fringe; I shall make sure he's a staple from here on in. Foot doesn't take to the stage until halfway into the show, but gets plenty of laughs walking around the audience having a bit of a chat. I found the audience participation towards the end a little bit frustrating.

Comedy Reserve. Pleasance Dome. Hmm. Joe Lycett was bloody amazing and needs his own show! Luke Benson was pretty good.

Horne Section. Assembly Gardens. I booked and scheduled in 1 Horne Section... ended up going to 3 in total. Guests included Ali Cook, Terry Alderton and David O'Doherty.

A thought.

It was apparent the Fringe was taking it's toll on David O'Doherty's voice.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Apple Cart Festival. Victoria Park.

I shall definitely be going to this festival again next year as it was an absolute delight! The heavy rain didn't seem to dampen anyone's spirits, including mine.

I caught Fergus Craig's set in the comedy tent and Badly Drawn Boy, Gilles Peterson, Tim Minchin and Marawa on the main stage, but most of my day was spent chilling on a sofa in the folk tent. I managed to see Seamus Fogarty, Peggy Sue, Paul Thomas Saunders, Treetop Flyers, Matthew and the Atlas and Joshua Caole. Treetop Flyers are my new favourite band; love them!

My friends and I had bought a ticket mainly to see Tim Minchin. He drew a huge, appreciative crowd and was joined by Pete, his bassist, and Brad, his drummer. He played Rock'n'roll Nerd, The Good Book, Cheese (only the chorus, though), Prejudice, Cont, You Grew On Me and Darkside.

A thought.

Losing weight, gaining confidence.

Friday, 5 August 2011

I've gone a bit strange.

Weight loss (I want to be able to fold) and fashion have overtaken my comedy obsession. I'm scared to step on the scales. I like browsing supermarkets, but never buy anything. I like to look at on my lunch break. Fashion blogs dominate my Tumblr dashboard. I like buying gifts for other people.


A thought.

I look so different. Me a year ago and me now.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Mega Catch Up Blog.

A recap, because i'm lazy.

Pajama Men: In The Middle Of No One. Soho Theatre. Shenoah and Mark are back with a new show! Brian Logan gave them an absolutely wonderful review in the Gaurdian.

Chicken Soup With Barley. Royal Court Theatre. I may or not not have booked to see this because Tom Rosenthal was in it *shifty eyes*. The play was about a Jewish family living in East London during the 30's, 40's and 50's. The cast were stellar. Trailer.

ACMS. New Lion Theatre. This over-ran too much for me to really enjoy it unfortunately. Marcel Lucont and Tim Key were faves (loved Key's bulldog clip).

David O'Doherty: Somewhere Over The David O'Doherty. Underbelly On The Southbank. I enjoyed the parts that weren't work-in-progress; still a bit of work to be done on the new stand-up. He wore the most kick-arse cape.

The Story Project 3. Southwark Playhouse. I saw Katy Wix tweet about this event; a series of plays from different writers being performed at The Vault at Southwark Playhouse. I preferred the lighthearted and comedic plays the best (the one about the gay dating agency was AWESOME).

The Special Relationship. Concrete. The guests included Josie Long, Ryan van Winkle and Jonny Woo. Van Winkle was extremely captivating. Sam Taradash and Jarrad McGinnis were on fine form.

Feature Spot Presents: Milton Jones. 100 Club. Joining Milton was Tony Law, Tom Allen and Rich Fulcher, the MC was Dan Atkinson. Atkinson was frickin' awesome - so much love for that man and his incredible comedy skills. Allen was also brilliant.

Realism. Soho Theatre. A play about the inner thoughts of a middle-aged, single man. Rather bizarre.

Totally Tom Preview. Etcetera Theatre. Fantastic show for Edinburgh Fringe first timers, Totally Tom. Their sketch about a German father and son was genius. If I was casting for an up and coming comedy series, I would snap up Tom Stourton in an instant.

David O'Doherty Presents: Rory Sheridan's Tales Of The Antarctica/David O'Doherty Is Looking Up Preview. The Invisible Dot HQ. Oh man, O'Doherty's Tales of the Antarctica was all kinds of awesome - am desperately trying to fit it into my Edinburgh schedule as I HAVE TO see it again. The new stand-up had come along leaps and bounds since I saw it at Underbelly on the Southbank.

Docklands Sinfonia. St Anne's Church. I always start flagging during the second half; really must stop doing that. The solo violinist, Jeanie Thorpe, was absolutely amazing and a quick Google tells me she's only 22!

Toby Preview: Lucky. The Invisible Dot HQ. This was meant to be a BBQ preview with Nick Helm, but unfortunately Helm had to pull out. Fun show, although I wished it had a few more sketches and a little less film.

Comedy Gold.Old Queen's Head. The first time i'd been to this gig; 'twas well lovely. Enjoyed Daniel Rigby's Trivial Persuit story, Loretta Maine (aka Pippa Evans) made me yearn for a longer set, Matt Kirshen seemed to riff for half and hour and Tom Stade ducked in an out of good and fucking hilarious material.

Horne Section Preview. Soho Theatre. Horne Section are back with all new songs and games (the song replacing The Side Man made me laugh so much)! I will never be able to say a bad thing about this show. The guests were James Acaster and "The Mysterious Fletch" - 2 of my all time fave comedians! Yaaaaay.

Tim Key Preview: Masterslut. The Invisible Dot HQ. I spent the evening on my own, but had the best time. Golly, that Key is good. Wonderful, wonderful, WONDERFUL films and a bath. Can't wait to see the show again at the Fringe.

Dong. Rich Mix. Comedy and Hip Hop fusion featuring DJ Big Ted, Fergus Craig, Ramesh Ranganathan, Nick Helm and Abandoman. Fun. I love Fergus Craig's Lil Wayne routine so, so much. Also, Nick Helm is bloody brilliant!!

A thought.

When I see someone doing something idiotic, I always say "you're and idiot!" Grinch-style in my head. Satisfying.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Tune Yards, The Haunt, Brighton.

Taking a trip to Brighton to see Tune Yards when their London gig sold out was the best and worst decision i've ever made. The gig was IN-CRED-A-BLE, but I didn't get home until 3am... on a Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.

The support was an American chap who played the keyboard and drums simultaneously and a 2 man acoustic duo called Thousands. They were both good, but nowhere near as good as Tune Yards - the place went off when Merrill Garbus and band took to the stage. Her vocals blew me away. Get a load of this! We had awesome seats too, which is ace when you're short.

A thought.

I wish I could pull off cool hair like Garbus.

Robin Hood. British Film Institute.

I've been wanting to take a trip to the BFI for ages. A lovely friend alerted me to their Disney season; a perfect time to go.

I hadn't seen Robin Hood since I was very, very little. Not one of my favoutite Disney films, but still good. There needs to be more animations where animals have human qualities and burst into song throughout.

A thought.

I love when people clap at the end of a film in the cinema.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Boy With Tape On His Face. Underbelly On The Southbank.

The Boy With Tape On His Face is back in the UK! He's doing a few shows before returning to the Edinburgh Fringe with his Best Newcomer nominated show. I took the opportunity to see it again at Underbelly on the Southbank.

It was a very wet day and the venue wasn't very rainy day friendly, but I had a blast nonetheless. The involuntary volunteers were all so wonderful - well done them. The standing ovation was more than deserving.

A thought.

The Boy With Tape On His Face is even better at facial expressions than Tim Minchin. Fact.

The Penny Dreadfuls Present: The Revolution. BBC Broadcasting House.

Richard E. Grant, Sally Hawkins and Maragret Cabourn-Smith joined Humphrey Ker, David Reed and Tom Tuck for the recording of The Penny Dreadfuls Present: The Revolution ("written by Humphrey Ker and David Reed with additional material by Thom Tuck").

What a bloody cast! What wonderful writing! Guys, you've got to tune in to this! 9th of July on Radio 4 at 2.30pm. I did learning and lots of laughing.

A thought.

Love, love, love The Penny Dreadfuls. Couldn't pick a favourite at this recording (HA), but I do have a very soft spot for the Mighty David Reed.

Mark Watson Book Event. Foyles.

Mark Watson has some pretty enthusiastic fans. Am I one of them? Maybe. A lovely little event to promote the paperback version of Eleven.

Mark read a few extracts from the novel, none of which were about the main character, before answering a few questions. I like the way he looks after the minor characters throughout the book, a style which he picked up from one of his favourite authors (her name escapes me - awful).

A thought.

If I was a famous person, I wouldn't want pictures of my face on public display. I would be so devastated if they were defaced.

Party Recording. BBC Broadcasting House.

Party, written by Tom Basden, really is the best thing ever. Nothing makes me more happy than seeing Tom Basden, Tim Key, Jonny Sweet, Katy Wix and Anna Crilly play Duncan, Simon, Jared, Pheobe and Mel. Jot Davies joined the cast to provide the voices of all the other characters needed.

This. Is. Talent.

A thought.

I hope to see/hear more Party in the future. Let's hope this 4-part Radio 4 series isn't the last.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Feature Spot Presents: Miles Jupp. 100 Club.

Feature Spot continues to put on a great comedy night at the 100 Club. The line-up at this gig included the likes of Kevin Eldon, Arnab Chanda, Doc Brown, Miles Jupp and MC, Humphrey Ker.

Having forgotten about the gig and sporting a bit of a cold, Eldon gave a great set that set the course for the rest of the night. I really enjoy his routine with a black bit of tape on the end of a stick - clever.

Arnab is so god-damn good at stand-up. I love his jokes. I like his style. Kinda wished he hadn't said "yeah, i'm going to kill myself soon".

Doc Brown bought the house down! Absolutely killed it. It was great to see the older, middle class couple in front of me really getting into the raps.

Miles Jupp is a very nice man. Never has a comedian come up to me while I was doing the door and introduced themselves. I mean, there's no need, i'm just a silly little girl marking names off a list, but it was very lovely. He gave quite a long set that very much appealed to the audience.

I wish Humphrey Ker could MC every gig I go to. So brilliant. I adore his turn of phrase.

A thought.

Comedy, bunker-style is the bomb. Hooray for Oxford St and their roadworks. (Half of this is sarcastic).

Operation Greenfield. Soho Theatre/Government Inspector Preview. Young Vic Theatre.

I would've kicked myself if i'd missed Operation Greenfield during it's run at Soho Theatre; it received brilliant reviews at last year's Fringe and during the tour.

The play showed the growth of a teenage religious rock band over the space of, say, a year. It culminated at a band competition which Operation Greenfield end up winning.

The 4 young performers from Little Bulb Theatre Group were all incredibly talented (acting/singing/playing several instruments).


The preview for Government Inspector was a tad long and I lost interest towards the very end. Stunning cast who all gave wonderful performances, especially Fergus Craig, Julian Barratt, Amanda Lawrence and Kyle Soller. I'm sure it has improved since I saw and is more than deserving of 5 star reviews.

Due to my rubbishness (is so a word) at writing reviews, i'm going to link you to Anna's blog.

A thought.

I only have thoughts worth noting down when i'm extremely tired.

John-Luke Roberts Distracts You From A Murder. Soho Theatre.

There are so many clever jokes in this show that most of the time I struggle to keep up. I really don't understand why it wasn't nominated for Best Newcomer at last year's Fringe - madness.

A thought.

Tom Bell did a great job of impersonating Gareth Gwynn.

Freeze. Kings Place.

This would've been the best Freeze gig i'd ever been to if they'd danced; I heard a snippet of You! Me! Dancing! too. Loved the sketch about feminism, the acoustic version of Cka and the Richard Madeley/Mamma Mia duet (pretty sure Mamma Mia wasn't meant to be a duet).

I've heard terrible things about the rooms at Kings Place, but I thought it was absolutely fine. Oh, and it had a piano - bonus.

A thought.

The lyrics to Mamma Mia should always include a side story about a seagull.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Alex Horne: Ten Years In The Bathroom. Canal Cafe Theatre.

A lovely, lovely preview from Alex Horne about the average amount of time we spend doing certain things in our lifetime. This is, by far, my favourite Horne show to date. I can't wait to see the finished show in Edinburgh - it's almost there.

A thought.

I'm a fan of both of these people and this Twitter exchange made me quite upset.

Tom Rosenthal: @danielrigby "I've won a Bafta so I don't need to gig" the genuine highlight of our in-depth conversation on the art of stand-up comedy... We've got the same amount of followers. You're not famous yet. Genuinely very hurt otherwise I wouldn't feel the need to do this... Just wanted to chat about being an actor who does stand-up.

That was that. LET'S SEE WHAT HAPPENS. Probably nothing as we're both nothings. Hear that, mate? We're both bloody nothings... Although, hang on. No, still nothing.

Daniel Rigby: @rosentweets Just woke up to your very public character assassination. I didn't say what you put in quotes and was a bit drunk... I don't think i'm famous and i'm sorry if one encounter has given you such a wrong impression of me... I'm sorry as well if I "hurt your feelings". I really didn't mean to. It was a drunk conversation... Completely baffled and hurt by your choice to do that based on 1 meeting with someone you don't know. Rude and aggressive.

They're appear to be "all good" now, but still. Evil Twitter, evil.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Ten-Year Self-Improvement Challenge. Update Eight.

This is my initial challenge and this is my update:

1) I read A Light Hearted Look At Murder by Mark Watson and have started on Solar by Ian McEwan.

I really liked ALHLAM, but it was very dark in places and I didn't expect that kind of book from Mark. Very impressed.

Can't get into Solar - it's a bit of a chore to get it out on the bus.

2) There hasn't really been the opportunity. However, a lot of my favourite comedians were at a show I went to last week and I pretended to not see them... even though they were standing/sitting right next to me. So rude of me.

3) YEP. I'm getting good at this.

4) Rubbish. Must. Try. Harder.

5) There's been lots of emails between family and friends since I got back from holiday. I miss them so much already and it's only been 2 weeks.

6) Since I set this challenge, I have lost 15 kilos. It's always nice when people start to notice and it's happening a lot lately.

A thought.

I frickin' love awkward people and their awkward hugs.

Improvisation My Dear Mark Watson. BBC Television Centre.

Mark Watson hosts a new improvisation show for Dave featuring Rufus Hound, Stephen K Amos, Isy Suttie, Tom Baker, Josie Long and Colin Hoult.

The recording went on FOREVER and a keen bean in the audience was slightly annoying, but it was a laugh. Colin Hoult was my favourite contestant (loved how he carried the phrase "look at my shins" throughout), Rufus Hound's blunt comments always made me giggle and Mark's acting skills before the audience were dismissed was EPIC.

A thought.

My denim shirt isn't the most flattering item of clothing I own, but it's comfortable.

Nick Mohammed And Brendan Patricks; A Magic Show. Invisible Dot HQ.

I hadn't been to The Invisible Dot in ages and it was so good to go back. Nick Mohammed and Brendan Patricks put on the best magic show I have ever witnessed.

It was funny (genuinely - no cheap jokes here), laid back (the audience were split up and Patricks showed us how one of his card tricks was done) and mind blowing (Nick and Brendan READ OUR AND EACH OTHER'S MINDS). It helped that the audience were lovely and only too happy to participate (and not in an annoying way).

I very much hope there is a similar show on the cards.

A thought.

There is no nicer place to be than London on a sunny, warm day.

New Art Club. Soho Theatre.

I've wanted to see New Art Club ever since their set at The Horne Section a few months back. I'd seen their best bits before and the audience were rather quiet, but it was still lots of fun.

You should totes check out their YouTube channel:

A thought.

Tom Roden and Pete Shenton should stay in unitards for the entirety of the show. I felt the smart trousers and shirt with bare feet didn't quite work.


I went home for 3 weeks and had a bloody good time. I spend loads of time with my family and friends, attended my Dad's wedding and went on a girls only shopping trip to Melbourne with my Mum and sisters. My little sister, Samantha, made me laugh constantly.

A thought.

Living away from my family never gets easier.

Josie Long And Friends. Bush Hall.

Such a lovely venue, this one, and a lovely host to boot. Josie Long was joined by James Acaster, Arnab Chander, John-Luke Roberts and Tom Basden. The Friday night audience got a bit rowdy by the end of the night which got on a my nerves, but I had a thoroughly nice time.

I've never seen Tom Basden give a bad set. This one included songs that I hadn't heard before and chats with Mummy and Daddy Basden who were in the audience.

A thought.

Dear Arnab Chander, I believe in you.

Ryhs Jones And Tom Rosenthal. Etcetera Theatre.

The enjoyment that I experienced watching Tom and Ryhs was somewhat dampened when I lost my wallet in the venue. Got it back the day after and have vowed never to leave it in my pocket again.

Pretty good material from Ryhs Jones, but I found his poetry VERY Bo Burnham. Stirling Edinburgh preview from Tom Rosenthal - can't wait to see it during the Fringe. Dear reviewers, please be very kind to Explosenthal.

A thought.

Some sad and shocking news that I received on Tuesday caught up with me last night. I've not felt that upset in a very long time.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Tim Key: The Slutcracker. Lyric Theatre.

My last opportunity to see my favourite comedy show, Tim Key's The Slutcracker. RiP. This was, I think, my ninth viewing and i'm glad I got to experience it in such a lovely theatre - the Lyric on Shaftesbury Avenue is big, but not imposing or disengaging.

I'm not sure what to add that hasn't already been said. I'm very glad the golf club had stayed in the show since I saw it in Edinburgh 2010. I did think Key used the word "cunt" way to many times.

A thought.

Was I ignored by someone at this gig and did I ignore someone at this gig? Um, it's very likely. Karma?

Live At The Chapel: Stewart Francis.

My friends and I made the last minute decision to attend Live at the Chapel; a decision well made. The Union Chapel is a brilliant venue and the line-up included the likes of Alun Cochrane, Kevin Eldon, Phil Nichol, Stewart Francis and MC, Greg Davies.

Greg Davies is an incredibly funny man. His opening gambit, most of which was directed at my 20 year old friend, had me crying with laughter - the kind of laughter where you giggle at something and the funnies keep coming thick and fast and you loose all self-control. The mental image of him skipping around the stage shouting "beard! Beard! Beard, Beard!" in a high-pitched voice will stay with me forever.

I hadn't seen Alun Cochrane in aaaaaages (I think I last saw him in the same venue at least a year ago) and I found his jokes and delivery had changed a bit. He used to be quite pessimistic and deadpan. I enjoyed his observational comedy (in a rather chipper manner) about his family.

Kevin Eldon came out as Paul Hamilton and recited a series of poems. I want to shower him with praise - ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT.

Phil Nichol did tried and tested material and he always goes down really well whenever I manage to see him. I was surprised that he didn't do 'I'm The Only Gay Eskimo'.

Wasn't impressed with Stewart Francis, but I rarely enjoy one-liners. He made lots of comments about the quality of the audience. Hmm.

A thought.

How does trust work with new friends? Do you trust them with small things and then increase that trust until/if they break it (and then never trust them again)?

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Museum Of Curiosity Recording. BBC Radio Theatre.

I received complementary tickets to a few recordings of The Museum of Curiosity, however, they landed on days that I was doing other things. When a friend offered a spare to a recording with Alex Horne, Sara Wheeler and Alain de Botton, I jumped at the chance.

The half an hour show on Radio 4 is edited from a 2 hour recording, so it's worthwhile popping along. The guests are always fascinating and this recording was no exception. Coming soon to a radio/laptop/PC near you!

A thought.

I could listen to Dave Gorman and Alex Horne chat all day, every day.

Meet The Cast: Friday Night Dinner. Apple Store, Regent Street.

This was an opportunity I couldn't pass up! Boyd Hilton interviewed the cast of Friday Night Dinner (Robert Popper, Tamsin Greig, Tom Rosenthal, Simon Bird, Paul Ritter and Mark Heap) for iTunes.

There was talk of favourite moments during the show, real life events that inspired the script, on set larks, Wilson chat and an announcement from a Channel 4 producer about a second series.

After the interview, my friend talked to Mark Heap and Robert Popper while I stood muted and staring in the background. I really wanted to tell Tom that I like his stand-up, but the chance never arose. Sadness.

A thought.

Mark Heap is the funniest man in the entire world. Also, I really should have asked him if there was any news regarding a series of The Great Outdoors.

Friday, 1 April 2011

The Horne Section. Lyric Theatre.

I don't think there will ever be a comedy show that is as joy-inducing as The Horne Section. Unfortunately, this was their last Monday residency at the Lyric as they head over to Melbourne for the International Comedy Festival. Joining Alex Horne and his Side Men were Harry Hill, Tom Basden, Tim Key, Shlomo and Andrew Van Buren.

Andrew Van Buren's assistant was wearing the highest cut leotard that I have ever seen; just thought that was worth a mention. Shlomo sent the band off during his set and absolutely killed it - AMAZE. He came back on and beat-boxed during The Side Men and i'm sad to say that it will never sound the same again.

Tim Key recited some poems that I hadn't heard before; I especially liked the one about the milkmaid. Alex Horne joined him for a duet - How Do You Like Your Eggs In The Morning by Dean Martin. OMG, OMG, OMG! Tom Basden looked so trendy with his Nike high-tops and stubble. His cover of Mamma Mia, complete with mariachi trumpet solo from Joe Auckland, was da bomb, y'all. When I grow up i'd like to be as silly as Harry Hill. There was tap-dancing and songs and one liners and plenty of mucking about - HERO.

The evening came to a close with a Michael Jackson medley. Come back soon, Horne Section!

A thought.

I have the loveliest friends in the world. Yup.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

49 Cedar Street. BBC Broadcasting House.

I enjoy Sunday afternoon Radio 4 recordings at BBC Radio Theatre. The pilot of 49 Cedar Street starred Colin Hoult as Laurence, Tom Parry as Elliot and Isabel Fay as Hannah. The live music and sound effects only added to the fun.

A bit of an odd script, this one. The FAQ that we were given before the recording said: "Q: What's this show about? A: Laurence and Elliot have been living together for some time now and it shows. Laurence does his best to look after Elliot and read him bedtime stories; in return Elliot tries to keep his room tidy and always eats his greens before pudding. Their home is a haven of peace and contentment, with comfy sofas, documentaries about punctuation and the occasional song and dance routine. But now they need a new lodger and their lives look set for change". Laurence

Hannah is a very irrational person but joins the house dynamic by, somewhat, guilt tripping Laurence; Elliot was smitten from the start. Some great acting from the main characters and I just adored the morning song and bedtime story.

A thought.

You know there will be lots of funnies during the pick-ups when Hoult and Parry are involved.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Ten-Year Self Improvement Plan. Update Seven.

Initial plan can be found here. This is my progress:

1) My review of Moab is my Washpot: Hmm. That's an acceptable review, right? I'm not that clued up about Stephen Fry, but i'm trying to see why people like him. He leaves me a bit cold to be honest. One of my friends said that people like him because he is smart and liking him makes you seem smart. WELL FUNNY.

I dog-eared a good bit and now i'm going to tell you it. Page 176: "I am sorry to borrow from others so much, but to do it one last time, I bring Montaigne to my defence: I quote others only the better to express myself".

I dog-eared a lot of pages actually. The thing is, he used such large words that I need to look up the meaning or referred to someone I didn't know and had to research.

I also read Mark Watson's Bullet Points. I must admit that it didn't draw me in at first due to not liking the main character. The twist at the end made me so guilty for not liking him and I really wanted to have a good cry; I finished this book while waiting to see a doctor.

2) A friend and I went to a Q&A screening of Submarine and afterwards in the foyer, I built up the courage to talk to Joe Dunthorne. THE JOE DUNTHORNE. He was so lovely. On the bus on the way home, I thought about lots of things that I wanted to ask and say to him.

3) Done and done.

4) This has largely turned into storing draft texts on my phone. My thoughts seem to have become quite philosophical.

5) I'm rather rubbish at this task. I have been emailing with a friend in Australia whom I plan to catch up with when I go home. She's pregnant (a little girl; naww) and we plan to go baby shopping - i'll have to act like a grown up!

6) I am losing, but not very much. I went to the doctor last week and have to go for a blood test. I may have polycystic ovaries or an under-active thyroid. GREAT.

A thought.

I've indulged in my own company a lot lately. I'm turning into quite the recluse.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Alternative Comedy Memorial Society. New Red Lion.

The best place to get your alternative comedy fix is to attend the fortnightly Alternative Comedy Memorial Society gig at the New Red Lion. The bill included lots of people that I hadn't had a chance to see before (Chris Boyd, Jacob Edwards, Mushy Bees, a Hungarian man and Thomas Nelstrop) and lots of my favourites (John-Luke Roberts, Thom Tuck, Nadia Kamil, Tom Bell, William Andrews and Colin Hoult).

There seems to be another returning feature that I didn't quite pick up on last time - to kick things off, a comedian will do a set in another language. A Hungarian man, who's name escapes me, broke into English half-way through his set and John-Luke Roberts responded by poking his head out from backstage and giving him a very disapproving look. Nadia Kamil pretended to be a penis pretending to be Banksy and William Andrews had a jumper on his head whilst showing footage of a lost dog on a motorway that defied capture for hours whilst simultaneously playing For Today I Am A Boy by Anthony and the Johnsons. He said that he didn't understand why people feel emotional while listening to songs like Angels by Robbie Williams but then this scenario propped up in real life and he found himself sobbing. He went on to say that it's not the song invoking emotions per se, but the events taking place while listening to the song. GREAT STUFF.

I did enjoy Chris Boyd, however, he did use quite a bit of audience participation to get laughs (after his set Thom Tuck congratulated Richard, the audience participant, for turning Petis Filous into Frubes - hilarious). Stand-up from a zombie, Thomas Nelstrop, made me giggle lots; "one zombie turned to another zombie and his head fell off... we've all been there". Wasn't so sure about The Masked Comedian (Jacob Edwards - although, I do appreciate what he was trying to do) and Mushy Bees (he/she was a great artist, though). Tom Bell was excellent (he always is) and I especially liked his Angelina Jolie recipe for pancakes.

There were some great larks just before both intervals: a Q&A with a piñata called Alan (he was destroyed by a monkey, aka Thom Tuck, before questions were asked and answered) and 2 audience members played Gareth Gwynn Buckaroo aka THE BEST GAME EVER INVENTED. Basically, 2 contestants took it in turns to place a plastic fork in Gareth Gwynn's spectacular beard and the first person who's fork falls out is the loser. After each fork was strategically placed, Thom Tuck would shake Gareth Gwynn (quite violently at times, I have to say). At the end of the game, Gareth Gwynn had 33 plastic forks in his beard. He came back on stage for another round after the second interval only to reveal that the beard was no longer (RIP).

Photos, as ever, are by Diamond Geyser.

A thought.

Spotting Greg McHugh in the audience will bring about what can only be described as a "fangirl moment".

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Submarine Q&A. Curzon Soho.

I read about this event as my bus drove past Curzon Soho a few weeks back and I strained my neck trying to log all the details. The film was introduced by the same man that held the interview and after the screening Richard Ayoade, Joe Dunthorne, Sally Hawkins, Yasmin Paige and Craig Roberts took to the stage for a Q&A.

My friend and I were asked if we could have our picture taken before entering the cinema. The Polaroids were then pinned to a board and we were encouraged to take them home as a memento upon leaving. We were given quite a few mementos in fact, from the goody bags under our chair in the cinema (pick'n'mix, a notebook, school report, matches and a HUGE APPLE) to the sparklers being handed out when leaving the complex.

I really enjoyed Submarine; a coming of age film adapted from Joe Dunthorne's novel and directed by Richard Ayoade. All the reviews I have read are nothing short of praise and basically say the same thing - it's beautiful and funny and sad and touching and sweet and scenic all at the same time; none of this "it's a sad/tender/sweet etc moment so we can't have laughs". One would never know that it was Ayoade's first film, clearly a lover of the art. I related to the characters, but they weren't exactly likable... well, sometimes they were. I can't recommend it enough.

The Q&A was awkward from the get go and it continued right the way through until the actors, director, novelist and interviewer left the stage. There weren't enough chairs for a start which meant the interviewer had to sit on a table, he also told Yasmin Paige that his children watched her on Tracy Beaker, "i'm not in Tracy Beaker" came her reply. When questions were thrown over to the audience, a young couple gushed in the direction of Sally Hawkins saying things like "we've come all the way down from Manchester for this", "we loved you in Happy-Go-Lucky" and "last time we saw you, you signed her arm!". They were a little out of it...

My favourite question was from a rather abrupt lady who asked what they did to prepare for filming in Wales and, essentially, making a Welsh film when the majority of the cast and crew weren't Welsh. Richard Ayoade had me in stitches when he said "what do you want me to say? We did press-ups? We wrote a lot of Ls in succession? We wore armour? All the normal things you do when preparing for Wales". He made me laugh plenty more times throughout the interview not least when the interviewer asked him to end on a slightly racist remark: "pfft, the Spanish".

I had such a wonderful night and i'd quite happily to do it all over again.

A thought.

I swear I never used to go bright red and shake when talking to people I admire. I also think i'm to old for this kind of behaviour to be considered cute. Damn.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Big Sketch Bash. 100 Club.

All my favourite sketch groups in one place? Check. Some awesome company? Check. Fun times? You bet. The compere, Tom Bell, was joined by Totally Tom, Three Englishmen, Anna and Katy, Pappy's and The Penny Dreadfuls.

Tom Bell is one of the most underrated comedians on the British circuit, in my opinion; the room is never short of laughter when he's on stage. I adore his whimsy and turn of phrase so much. I hope Tom and Totally Tom get their big break soon. Tommy, Tom, Tom (<--- reminds me of a Cardinal Burns sketch, that does)!

The atmosphere before Pappy's, and indeed Dreadfuls, was electric; the audience was full of enthusiastic fans. Both gave stellar sets and showcased sketches that i'd not seen before. Pappy's' Choose Your Own Adventure sketch and Glove Song was freakin' a.

I haven't seen Anna & Katy perform in, like, a year. Their Fête sketch is a fave. Every time I hear someone say "sorry", i'm reminded of it. EVERY TIME.

My friend Anna's review blows my silly little account out of the water.

A thought.

Pretty sure one of the sketch troupes on the bill fake corpsed. Naughty, naughty.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Knock2bag Gig. Bar FM.

Stirling line-up at a venue close to where I live? Yes please. The MC, Fergus Craig, was joined by Alex Horne, Delete the Banjax, Cardinal Burns, Matthew Crosby, John-Luke Roberts and Andrew Lawrence.

Alex Horne (with saxophonist, Mark Brown) stumbled on comedy gold when he found someone in the audience called Albion. He asked another audience member, Brendan, to ring a friend to let them know that he was sitting next to a man with a wonderful name. Brendan rang his daughter Kim and a hilarious/awkward conversation ensued. Horne ended his set with his Justin Timberlake beatbox - a fave.

This was not the only time that audience members were funny. Bill, who worked in TV, was in charge of starting the round of applause before each act came on; "okay guys, let's have a good one in 3, 2, 1" *clapping/cheering*. EXCELLENT. A couple of dim lads were given heaps of flack for not really getting the jokes and failed miserably at answering questions posed to them by the comedians. Their table was referred to as the "green table" by Matthew Crosby - his reasoning was based on people during school-days who were in the lower set and always had a special name for their classes/area of the classroom. Crosby engaged in a conversation with a trendy Afro-Caribbean man about Nandos that I thought was very funny: (paraphrasing) "do you like Peri-Peri salt on you chips" "yeah, man! High five!" "is this street?".

Delete the Banjax and Cardinal Burns showcased some wonderful new sketches; I enjoyed the English Comprehensive and DJ/Clubbing ones the most. John-Luke Roberts' insults will always be a highlight and I like the way Andrew Lawrence can make turn that audience from thinking "who/what is this man" to "holy moly, he's SO FUNNY" within a matter of minutes.

A thought.

The music in Bar FM was incredibly loud during the intervals. Hello, headache.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Colin Hoult: The New Advertures, Leicester Square Theatre.

Colin Hoult was joined by Thom Tuck, Kevin Eldon, David Reed, Isy Suttie and Zoe Gardner for a night of new material.

I've seen Thom Tuck's stand-up set quite a bit, but it really has come along leaps and bounds; I particularly liked the anecdotes about love dispersed through his material on straight-to-DVD Disney films. Kevin Eldon tried out two brand new songs as well as a new routine from his Character From The North. David Reed played a Doctor (I think it was a Doctor. Oh, I should've written this blog sooner. If you're reading this David Reed, i'm sorry! You're still, and always will be, my favourite Dreadful) reading from his diary; pretty funny. Zoe Gardner played a charcater that wanted to be a beauty therapist, but became a carer because they wouldn't let her wear jewellery - hilarious. Isy Suttie's charcter was bang on; a nosey, middle aged type lady who liked giving advice (Reed gave her a helping hand).

Hoult's new characters are so, so good from 31 year old Mike to his depressed Welsh poet and everything in between. I can't pick a favourite, so don't make me try. A band accompanied him throughout the night and at the very end we all sang the ewok song from Star Wars.

A thought.

The tune from the ewok song is similar to The Horne Section's days of the week song.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Alternative Comedy Memorial Society. New Red Lion.

Organised and hosted by John-Luke Roberts and Thom (Luke) Tuck, this was the first of many Alternative Comedy Memorial Society gigs at the New Red Lion. The plan is that comedians can come and try out "hilarious invention" - stand-up that is a little bit different from the norm. The first line-up included the likes of Elis James, Terry Saunders, David McNeill and Lawry Lewin, William Andrews, Tom Bell, Nadia Kamil, Jigsaw (sketch from Nat Luurtsema, Tom Craine and Dan Antopolski) and Tony Law.

I haven't laughed so hard and so much in ages; not a bad word will be said about it. After every act Thom or John-Luke would say "a failure" to which the audience would respond with "a noble failure" and only 3 heckles were permitted, one of which being "we appreciate what you're trying to do".

Nadia was introduced as Nadia Kamil Pretending To Be A Penis Pretending To Be Another Thing (a fish) and Will was introduced as Will Andrews Has a Thing On His Head. I hope this means that they will both have a fortnightly spot - SO FUNNY. Andrews' material about setting his watch fast so he'd no longer by late was inspired.

Elis did his whole set in Welsh, Terry Saunders encouraged the audience to boycott Barclays by stealing pens, David McNeill and Lawry Lewin told us how nunchuckas have, somewhat, ruined their lives, a masked Tom Bell danced around while handing out pieces of Yorkie to women, Jigsaw showcased their new sketches (I particularly liked the chat line sketch - "tell me how local you are!") and Tony Law did some hilarious improv about the venue which segued into a tale about a bus ride with his young twins.

In the intervals when we weren't being treated to live music or drawing things that would be common in the future (half a squid was my favourite), we taste-tested salted chocolate ice cream in an attempt to find out what food is "hilariousest". On top of all these larks, the remaining comedians read through a transcript of a Captain Planet episode before the headline act.

What an incredible evening. Photos by Daimond Geyser.

A thought.

Good comedy makes me so, soooo, SO happy.