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The new "What Stand Up Have You Seen Lately?" thread

Started by Small Man Big Horse, July 16, 2016, 08:16:30 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Small Man Big Horse

Quote from: flotemysost on November 18, 2023, 01:21:09 PMSaw John Roberston - The Dark Room at Soho Theatre last night. I know the show's been doing the rounds for years (though I'd not seen it before, and didn't know much about it/Robertson); I guess the format's nothing particularly groundbreaking or unique, and I've seen a good few other shows in a similar vein (mildly geeky theme, gamified audience participation, slightly unhinged host), but I'm a bit of a sucker for gimmicky interactive chaotic improv-y shit, so I enjoyed it.

His crowd work is really the meat of the show and he does it well, maintaining the "antagonistic" persona with lots of warmth, though I guess he's had plenty of practice. It's back at the same venue in January, fyi.

I've wanted to see The Dark Room for ages now, ever since I saw him do a 20 minute spot on a mixed bill, but it's always either dates where I'm already booked up or really late at night, and these days I kind of like to be home by midnight at the latest.

QuoteAlso I've only just seen this

but that's a nice idea, I'd be down :) I know I don't post in here much and I'm certainly nowhere near as knowledgeable an aficionado as most of you lot, but I'm always up for recs and trying out new stuff and having people to go along with - will wang over my number if this is still on.

That'd be great, there's only three of us so far, but the more the merrier and all that.

MrMealDeal

Quote from: Small Man Big Horse on November 18, 2023, 03:00:52 PMThat'd be great, there's only three of us so far, but the more the merrier and all that.

I'd also be up for it...

Small Man Big Horse

Quote from: MrMealDeal on November 18, 2023, 05:53:38 PMI'd also be up for it...

I have to admit to being new to Whatsapp, but if you send me your mobile number I should be able to add you to the group (and anyone else who'd like to join too, of course).


Small Man Big Horse

A couple of reviews from Sunday:

Ignacio Lopez: Nine Ig Fails at The Pleasance - I'd not heard of Lopez before which was a surprise as this is a 90 minute show he's about to tour, and it was being filmed for NextUp, but I was asked to review it and seem unable to turn down a free ticket. I'm really glad I didn't as well, he's a very laid back but charming comic, and has some great material on what it was like growing up as a goth in Spain and being a huge Nine Inch Nails fan, which leads in to the main story about how years ago he tried to raise funds to see the band do a final show in L.A. That allows him to talk about some of the worst gigs he's ever performed, all of which were very funny to hear, and though there was the odd dodgy joke (some material about how Brits behaved when on holiday in his home country was surprisingly tired), most of the time this contained a lot of big laughs, and I'll definitely see whatever he does next, even if somewhat horrifically I have to pay for it. 4/5

Foxdog Studios - Robo Bingo at The Bill Murray - Hosted by a comedy duo whose names I'm too lazy to look up, this uses the structure of a game of bingo (initially using numbers, but then road signs and types of frog) and everyone at the venue can play along on their phones if they log on to a specific server and sign up on their website. Annoyingly my phone was shit (although only a year old it's a Samsung A03, and just refused to load the website) which was a bit frustrating, most of the time the bingo element just allows them to make daft jokes or show video footage, but there were some other games that I couldn't take part in annoyingly. Still, despite that it was a show which made me laugh a great deal, it's weird and odd and I love the unpredictable directions it went in, so despite not being able to participate I'd still rate it 5/5

Tiggles

Quote from: Small Man Big Horse on November 22, 2023, 03:10:17 PMFoxdog Studios - Robo Bingo at The Bill Murray - Hosted by a comedy duo whose names I'm too lazy to look up, this uses the structure of a game of bingo (initially using numbers, but then road signs and types of frog) and everyone at the venue can play along on their phones if they log on to a specific server and sign up on their website. Annoyingly my phone was shit (although only a year old it's a Samsung A03, and just refused to load the website) which was a bit frustrating, most of the time the bingo element just allows them to make daft jokes or show video footage, but there were some other games that I couldn't take part in annoyingly. Still, despite that it was a show which made me laugh a great deal, it's weird and odd and I love the unpredictable directions it went in, so despite not being able to participate I'd still rate it 5/5

Excellent. Going to see this in Manchester tomorrow, after not being able to make the scheduling work in Edinburgh. Excited!

Tiggles

Foxdog Studios - Robo Bingo at First Street Tipi, Manchester

Thoroughly agree with every other prior review of this that it's clever, creative, chaotic and wonderfully funny and I'm so glad I finally got to see/ do it.

God, I had fun with that gavel.

Small Man Big Horse

Quote from: Tiggles on November 24, 2023, 06:02:35 AMFoxdog Studios - Robo Bingo at First Street Tipi, Manchester

Thoroughly agree with every other prior review of this that it's clever, creative, chaotic and wonderfully funny and I'm so glad I finally got to see/ do it.

God, I had fun with that gavel.

Really glad you enjoyed it, and I'm really tempted to borrow a friend's phone and go and see them again now just so I can take part in it more!

CaledonianGonzo

Caught Amy Gledhill's The Girl Before The Girl You Marry which she's reviving on a wee tour. Lots to enjoy, even when the material is a wee bitty by the numbers. It's obviously a debut hour with more or less a full autobiography along the way, but the laughs are frequent and some of the stories are beauties (including the heavily hinted at one that genuinely beggars belief). The final routine is a bit of a bolt on which adds nothing thematically, but it's a pleasure to be in her company throughout.

Also featuring Marjolein Robertson doing a club set, which I thought was great, after not particularly getting on with her more thoughtful full hour.

Bonus celebrity punter yucking it up in the back row to the dog toy boob honk: Nicola Sturgeon

Rankersbo

We're having a buffet with stand up night in Leeds on Saturday with work. Would it be appropriate to name the acts, or would it be a bit "look at this show doing a corporate?"

edwardfog

Not sure I understand the question... you're hiring some stand-ups to perform at your Christmas dinner? How do you mean naming the acts? Who are you naming them to and on what platform?

Sorry if I'm being dense

Small Man Big Horse

Quote from: Rankersbo on November 28, 2023, 12:51:52 PMWe're having a buffet with stand up night in Leeds on Saturday with work. Would it be appropriate to name the acts, or would it be a bit "look at this show doing a corporate?"

I reckon it'd be okay, I've nothing against comedians doing corporate gigs unless it's for a company which is obviously evil and the comedian's persona is diametrically opposed to what they do.

Small Man Big Horse

Joe Kent-Walters: An Evening With Frankie Monroe @ Museum Of Comedy - There's a hint of Vic Reeves in Frankie Monroe's club promoter, who knows the club's days (and possibly his own) are numbered, but it's much darker and weirder. As well as Frankie we get to see a few other acts (his nephew doing stand up for the first time, a Johnny Cash style singer) but it's mostly Monroe making daft jokes, singing a few songs, trying out some audience participation and mucking about with props. Monroe's a seedy character for sure, but he never crosses the line in to creepy or unpleasant and he's great fun to hang out with, and this was a work in progress too, which bodes well as bar the Johnny Cash singer most of it felt pretty polished. 4.5/5

Rankersbo

Quote from: Rankersbo on November 28, 2023, 12:51:52 PMWe're having a buffet with stand up night in Leeds on Saturday with work. Would it be appropriate to name the acts, or would it be a bit "look at this show doing a corporate?"

It was the Leeds Comedy Cabaret:

https://thecomedycabaret.club/xmas-leeds/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA67CrBhC1ARIsACKAa8R6fWgo8l_8BslbnAH1Wdq2ttlpzbHx4CkkFrcSUzcZyWcqX2PqYgkaAt1tEALw_wcB

Ticketed affair to which groups bought tickets, so not strictly a corporate.

Acts were

Markus Birdman
Jenny Hart

and compare was Phil Ellis.

Jenny was too dark and blue for my taste and Markus was a bit "young people are offended by everything." but I laughed throughout. Ellis was a good compare.

edwardfog

Ah duh I get what you meant now haha. Good lineup for a corporate!

Tiggles

John Robins - Howl @ The Lowry, Salford

Booked this with some trepidation after I saw him fuck it up and sit down on the stage to berate himself at the Edinburgh fringe.

It is incredibly heavy and it's to his credit that he manages to weave enough levity into it to allow us to laugh, without diminishing the seriousness of his subject matter. He also does something clever and effective with a voice loop that I wanted to give its own round of applause - it's pathetic, sad, funny and impressive all at once.

Listening to people as we were leaving was interesting - I also haven't been to a show quite like that before. I can see how Robins can leave people cold or annoyed with what could easily be seen as self-pity, but for me this was affecting and personal. I ended up contrasting it to Mulaney's From Scratch (on Netflix as Baby J) which is definitely weighted a lot more towards the laughs but where Mulaney distances himself from the character he creates of himself as a raging addict. I didn't get a sense from Robins that he was attempting to "other" himself at all, if that makes sense. He was basically showing us the person that he has to live with, day in day out.

One of my friends has recently died due to his alcohol abuse, so I expect this resonated more strongly with me than it would do normally, but it was still a beautifully structured, funny and thoughtful show.

TLDR: he didn't fuck it up this time.

Quote from: Tiggles on December 03, 2023, 10:45:18 PMJohn Robins - Howl @ The Lowry, Salford

Booked this with some trepidation after I saw him fuck it up and sit down on the stage to berate himself at the Edinburgh fringe.

It is incredibly heavy and it's to his credit that he manages to weave enough levity into it to allow us to laugh, without diminishing the seriousness of his subject matter. He also does something clever and effective with a voice loop that I wanted to give its own round of applause - it's pathetic, sad, funny and impressive all at once.

Listening to people as we were leaving was interesting - I also haven't been to a show quite like that before. I can see how Robins can leave people cold or annoyed with what could easily be seen as self-pity, but for me this was affecting and personal. I ended up contrasting it to Mulaney's From Scratch (on Netflix as Baby J) which is definitely weighted a lot more towards the laughs but where Mulaney distances himself from the character he creates of himself as a raging addict. I didn't get a sense from Robins that he was attempting to "other" himself at all, if that makes sense. He was basically showing us the person that he has to live with, day in day out.

One of my friends has recently died due to his alcohol abuse, so I expect this resonated more strongly with me than it would do normally, but it was still a beautifully structured, funny and thoughtful show.

TLDR: he didn't fuck it up this time.


I was also there on Sunday night. In terms of a well-rounded show I don't think it was quite up there with The Darkness of Robins (the slotted spoon stuff wasn't as good as the similar Double Billy story, and people being annoying on public transport is very well trodden ground) but there were lines in this that will stay with me forever - some because they were so funny, some because they were genuinely harrowing. One moment sent a shiver through me. I knew it was going to be dark, but I wasn't prepared for how dark. And he delivered those changes in tone masterfully.

He had the audience in the palm of his hand. I spoke to a couple of people who were seeing him for the first half and hadn't seen/heard him on anything else and they were blown away.

Also, having seen Daniel Kitson in the summer talk about his friend John pointing out the flaws in his mortgage, it was very funny hearing the other side of the story.

And as Tiggles said, the voice loop bit was great.

Top stuff all around. And I'm delighted he's doing ok.

majava

I've got tix for Stewart Lee at the Leicester Square Theatre in January. Any early reports on his current show?

Tiggles

Quote from: Wayman C. McCreery on December 07, 2023, 07:08:02 AMAlso, having seen Daniel Kitson in the summer talk about his friend John pointing out the flaws in his mortgage, it was very funny hearing the other side of the story.

Yes, that bit definitely made me giggle. I'm glad he's doing better too.

Small Man Big Horse

This is the review I wrote for my blog from when I saw it last Thursday, and yeah, technically it's a play, but it's also a play which is all but identical to an hour long Edinburgh / Soho Theatre etc show.

Feeling Afraid As If Something Terrible Is Going To Happen - Bush Theatre.

I'm not sure if I should be writing a review of this as I'm a comedy nerd obsessive and some of the issues I have with it are definitely a little pedantic. And while I was watching it I was enjoying it a good deal, as Samuel Barnett's never named The Comedian comes on stage, picks up the microphone, and delivers a storytelling show akin to many that you could see at the Edinburgh Festival, the Soho Theatre or various other comedy venues.

It's slightly more tricksy than that as occasionally bright lights come up and he delivers material from when he performs his set at a comedy night with other comedians on the bill, and there are a couple of scenes where he drops the microphone completely and becomes very emotive. But other than that it's Barnett going in to a lot of detail about the character's life, though it's also proven that there's a hint of him being an unreliable narrator, at least at the beginning.

The Comedian's story revolves around the fact that he's not quite sure where his career is going, and how he's never had a long-term relationship, at least not until now, as he's met "The American" who seems absolutely perfect. Except that The Comedian wants to kill him. That's actually a bit of a bait and switch, as we discover early on that The American is suffering from a condition where if he laughs it will cause something in his brain to misfire and could kill him, so he's trained himself over the years to make sure he never does.

The Comedian suggests he's fine with that, despite it being his job to make people laugh, but it's easy to see that isn't quite true. But the story of their initial dates, how The American wants to take it slowly and not rush in to anything too quickly, and how they bond over time really is quite charming. There's also a clear sense that writer Marcelo Dos Santos knows a lot about comedy, from the rule of three to callbacks, ways you might be able to manipulate the audience, and what it feels like on those nights when everyone loves you and everything you say gets a bigger and bigger laugh, along with references to when it doesn't go well, what other comedians around you are like, and the frustration of never knowing if you'll make it in the industry.

Back to the fact that I'm a tedious comedy nerd, one part which I felt a little frustrated by was that we never really get a sense of how The Comedian's career is going. We're told he might get a chance to appear on a new tv panel show, but otherwise the gigs he mentions all seem to be on mixed bills across London, and there's no talk about travelling around the country and doing as many gigs as possible, and the loneliness that can cause. There's also no discussion about the Edinburgh Fringe, taking a full hour up there, and maybe trying to perform it at as many smaller festivals (eg. Leicester or Brighton) as he can, which if The Comedian is doing this full time (and he appears to have no other job) would be a big part of his life, and why his relationship with The American might be much more difficult than a traditional one.

Okay, I'm taking my comedy nerd hat off now, and the above probably wouldn't be an issue for the majority of the audience in the slightest. And the show gets stronger and stronger as we learn that The Comedian is full of self-loathing, is often self-destructive, and suffers from a vicious case of depression. Before he met The American that meant a lot of casual sex and a sprinkling of cocaine, both of which he only sometimes seems to enjoy, and it also means that he's worried that as the relationship with The American gets more intense, he may well fuck it up. Especially as he becomes desperate to hear The American laugh, for he is an extremely needy individual indeed.

It's a pretty funny show throughout, and Barnett's performance is 98% there and there's only a couple of times where it felt like he was acting rather than actually being a stand up who has years of experience on the circuit. It deals with mental health issues in a very funny way, the supposedly shocking material isn't that shocking but it's handled well, and it has a perfect ending, if this had been a real full length hour from a stand up comic I'd have happily rated it 4 stars.

And that's the main problem. While I was watching it I was enjoying it, but on the way home I started to wonder if there was any need for it to exist. Yes, he's got a great story, packed with amusing gags and a side order of pathos, but I've seen similar material and similar themes explored in much more interesting ways in shows by real comedians many, many times before. Compared to say, pretty much all of Maria Bamford's specials or Kim Noble's "Kim Noble Must Die" and "You Are Not Alone" shows, "Feeling Afraid as If Something Terrible is Going to Happen" suddenly seems quite a minor work.

Perhaps the answer lays with my first quandary, because I've seen an absurd amount of comedy, and it's easy to forget that very few people are as obsessive about the subject as I am. This is a very funny show, and it deals with some interesting themes, and Barnett is fantastic in the lead role. So, and I'm really not trying to sound like a patronising idiot here (and I don't know if I'm failing or not, and sorry if I did), but if you've not seen a lot of really unusual comedy then you'll probably enjoy and get far more out of this than I did. But as I'm unfortunately me, I can only rate it...

★★★3/4

Small Man Big Horse

Janine Harouni: Man'oushe at Soho Theatre - I don't want to go in to too much detail here as I know a fellow Cabber is seeing this tonight, but it's essentially how an American with Lebanese and Irish ancestry learnt more about her family, while her relationship with her husband and how crazily mad pregnancy can be is discussed. In the first ten minutes I was a little wary of this (if only for a tired dig at Catholic priests that made me wince) and I'm not one for shows about love and joy and bringing a child in to this world in general. But then it got a lot better, and much more unpredictable, there were lots of big laughs in the second two thirds as this became a show I was really impressed by. 4.25/5

CaledonianGonzo

I saw that in Edinburgh when she was still heavily pregnant - I wonder if its changed much since the birth....

Alberon

Saw a benefit gig for the Slapstick festival a few weeks back. So it wasn't more than the acts wheeling out their ten minute bits, but some good stuff there. Main highlight for me was Alexei Sayle compering it all. He did do a bit about imagining taking someone hostage before checking himself and saying that perhaps it's not the best story in light of the whole Gaza/Israel thing.

He did do his poem on how much he hates Keir Starmer though which is always good.

edwardfog

Last chance to see Sam Nicoresti do Cancel Anti Wokeflake Snow Culture in London on Jan 26th. They're doing two shows and filming it at the Museum of Comedy. One of the best shows of the last few years

Small Man Big Horse

Quote from: CaledonianGonzo on December 08, 2023, 08:00:21 AMI saw that in Edinburgh when she was still heavily pregnant - I wonder if its changed much since the birth....

I'd say there's probably about ten minutes on the actual birth itself (
Spoiler alert
she went for an elective c-section
[close]
) but the rest was probably the same, there wasn't anything about what the child has been like post birth.

Quote from: edwardfog on December 08, 2023, 09:14:43 AMLast chance to see Sam Nicoresti do Cancel Anti Wokeflake Snow Culture in London on Jan 26th. They're doing two shows and filming it at the Museum of Comedy. One of the best shows of the last few years

I saw that yesterday and almost bought a ticket, but money really is tight right now, I did see a work in progress of it and as it's being filmed I've decided against it, but if it wasn't for both of those reasons otherwise I'd have definitely gone.

Utter Shit

Saw John Robins' Howl last night in Brighton. Fantastic show, the perfect combination of very funny stuff worked around deep and meaningful subject matters, his alcoholism and anxiety. Having suffered from anxiety for years myself I found it very affecting, a lot of it really hit home and I felt like it might even have given me a few more ideas for coping. Like the world's funniest mental health TED talk.

Small Man Big Horse

Lara Ricote: A Wrok in Porgerss - I have to admit to being really tired when I got to this, and a long opening misjudged explanation of what a work in progress is (including her singing a famous song but getting some of the words wrong) was a bit tiresome, though when she explained it had to be completed by February when she was performing it at the Soho Theatre I became more optimistic that it'd be more polished than it was. Certainly when she got in to material itself some of it was very strong (how she's now in her first relationship, that he has no sense of smell so that she can fart during sex) but others were a lot weaker, involving a new found love for gardening and how if something she grows dies she equates it to a miscarriage. Now she knew she was on dodgy ground with that joke, but it made me wince. There was also some pretty bad audience participation (getting people in the audience to say one word at a time to form a sentence) which I've seen before and it wasn't funny then or now. I feel like I'm being harsh as I really like Lara, her last show was great, but this is patchy and I really hope she cuts the audience participation bit, though I doubt she will as it's part of the core theme. Hmmmm, again I was really tired, and this might sound harsh, but for me it's a 2.75/5

edwardfog

Helpful info thanks mate. I was debating seeing her tomorrow but it sounds like the show is in exactly the same shape as it was in Edinburgh

Tiggles

I'm in London for a few days and I went to that wip too. I'm hugely fond of Lara Ricote and just find her an innately funny presence, which goes a million miles towards having an enjoyable time, but yes, things felt really similar to where they were in Edinburgh. The miscarriage bit was a bit of a clanger but as you say she spotted that immediately.

Afterwards I trundled over to Dan Tiernan/ Paddy Young's Rodeo at 21 Soho for a very fun mixed bill (including ten mins from Ricote, with the material working better in some ways with a bigger space and giddier crowd). I enjoyed everyone but I hadn't seen Ed Night before and found myself unexpectedly tickled, sad I won't be in Manchester to see him tour next year. Sam Campbell seems to grow in power all the time, it's been ages since I've seen someone who isn't Kitson take the energy in the room and craft it to their will quite like that. Looking forward to his wip tonight before popping back up north.

Pink Gregory

Don't know if any of you are in the Wiltshire area but Sooz Kempner (and Dani Johns and Wil Hodgson) are doing sets in Chippenham tonight as part of the 'Festive Fringe'.  7.30!