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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

Pink Gregory

Beth Black cancelled last minute for Chippenham Comedy Festival :(

Don't know anything about the comedian stepping in - Louise Leigh - but one of her past shows was called Louise Leigh Amused which is brilliant.

Pink Gregory

SO

Sam Michael - WIP
Unfortunately cut down from the planned Double Act with John Matthews, and it really felt like it.  Some quite workmanlike but effective material, but with flashes of intuitive brilliance when he goes off script.  Some little passages of physical comedy that were just hilarious, but propping up some very weak material.  Fine, probably just not for me.  Still good. 


Guest appearance by Neil Hamilton walking from the station briefly passing by the open back door. 

Pink Gregory

next up iiiis

Juliet Meyers - Passport Face (WIP)

She brought her adorable portugese rescue dog who is apparently so clingy that he has to be with her on stage and I met this dog and I tickled his chin and shook both of his paws and I love him and I would die for him, so good start.

Not sure how far along in development this is but it's certainly good material in search of a structure.  It's ostensibly about her tracing her Iraqi Jewish heritage back to India via a trip with a sex therapist from Grimsby.  She's got this very personable, laconic delivery that I enjoyed, though without a bit more structure it was starting to drag by the end.  Was good, could be very good.  Unique.

Pink Gregory

James Dowdeswell - Beers of a Clown

Third performance of the show, and very heavy on the crowd work, which I'd normally not be into but in a small room of talkative locals he was clearly in some sort of element.  To be honest any written material struggled to go anywhere but the punchlines were great and his confidence and affability (?) are so strong that it was just a pleasure to be in the room.

Count Fuckula from Extras, fact fans.

edwardfog

Great stuff, don't really know any of these people so I'm appreciating the intel. There are so many comedians in this country

Pink Gregory

Quote from: edwardfog on July 02, 2022, 09:00:07 AMGreat stuff, don't really know any of these people so I'm appreciating the intel. There are so many comedians in this country

More to come tomorrow and sunday!  Can't hope to match SMBH because I'm not a good writer but it's so unusual to see this kind of standup outside the Fringe/clubs in the cities that it's less likely to be remarked on. 

Small Man Big Horse

Quote from: Pink Gregory on July 02, 2022, 10:45:17 AMMore to come tomorrow and sunday!  Can't hope to match SMBH because I'm not a good writer but it's so unusual to see this kind of standup outside the Fringe/clubs in the cities that it's less likely to be remarked on. 

I'd disagree with that, I've really enjoyed your reviews and think they're really well written. I'm glad to see I was wrong about Juliet Meyers too, I'd judged her on short sets at mixed bills but I'm pleased to hear that her full length show showed a lot of promise.

Pink Gregory

Quote from: Small Man Big Horse on July 02, 2022, 11:10:43 AMI'd disagree with that, I've really enjoyed your reviews and think they're really well written. I'm glad to see I was wrong about Juliet Meyers too, I'd judged her on short sets at mixed bills but I'm pleased to hear that her full length show showed a lot of promise.

it'll all be in the putting it together I think.  There's clearly a through line but it's going to take a bit of working out to make it all hang together.

Pink Gregory

Jo Caulfield - WIP

So I feel like I can't judge this entirely fairly because it's so evidently not aimed at me, very much an older audience but she packed the (small) room and they seemed to love it so can't complain really.

Lots of fairly standard but affably performed post-covid observational material about drinking, parties, husbands, quite a fun routine about a german porn film, but I struggled with an hour of it.  Also she'd occasionally slip in an incongruously harsh punchline which was what made me laugh the most.  Good enough but again, not aimed at me.

Pink Gregory

Sooz Kempner - Playstation WIP

Very much more my thing.  If anyone saw Super Sonic 90s Kid this felt like a continuation or a companion show, basically the same framing device of exploring youth and adulthood through games nostalgia; admittedly quite basic games nostalgia for someone like me who still plays games old and new, but it's welcome nonetheless.  Some visual stuff, some singing (she sings!), all very good and enjoyable, she's got great energy but sometimes it feels a bit like disconnected routines bolted on to a theme, but such is the nature of the WIP.  Sooz is great I like her lots.

Pink Gregory

Katie Mitchell - She Festers

Really liked this.  Sort of baffling at first but she's got this really compelling nervy and chaotic energy that ties it all together.  Spends a lot of time in character as Vlad the Impaler having a romantic crisis, and then segues into quite a touching and silly routine about a thwarted suicide attempt.  Would love to see this when it's a bit more together, loads of potential

Pink Gregory

Andrew O'Neill - long title it's a quote by Buenaventura Durrutti anyway WIP

Strong show, apparently written in 2019, around the theme of hope (lol).  I thought O'Neill was a bit of a known quantity in that he largely tells silly, quirky jokes loudly (maybe a bit too shouty for me at times) but more political material than I was expecting, which was nice, makes the show land a lot better.  Does a song on an adorable tiny electric guitar at the end, is good.  Not a shock to anyone who follows his stuff I'm sure.

Pink Gregory

Wil Hodgson - Barbicidal Tendencies WIP

I can't fairly review this because Wil is my favourite standup comedian by far.  If you connect with the style of delivery and somewhat niche material he does (and if you're more than a casual fan of standup, you probably will) then he's just inherently funny, he is a man who can seemingly get on stage and ramble and it's brilliant comedy.  Not wanting to downplay the work that goes into it obviously, and I'm reliably infomed that he was on three hours' sleep and the stress of running a comedy festival while also doing a full day of barbering.

It felt like an intensely personal show at times, very much concerning his relationship with audiences and performance and anxiety.  I think it would really resonate with anyone who's ever performed in front of an audience, obvs. if anyone's up at the Fringe catch him, for god's sake go and see Wil Hodgson.  There is no one quite like him.


Gurke and Hare

Stewart Lee - Tornado/Snowflake

Great obviously, but almost ruined by the arsehole sitting next to me who kept on shouting out - either repeating the punchlines, or bits of trenchant commentary explaining the joke. I finally snapped and hissed "Shut up!" to him about 15 minutes before the end, a 15 minutes he spent sarcastically muttering "Am I allowed to laugh?" as if it was me that had ruined his evening by introducing this unreasonable concept of him not joining in.

Stew is very god at his job.

edwardfog

Good reviews guys. Mad that S. Lee is attracting people who want to talk the whole way through but I guess he's a victim of his own success. I feel like it's usually alcohol related in cases like that, and I'm not an anti-alcohol guy but I do feel it's weird that so many people want to bring a drink into an activity where they're supposed to sit still and listen for an hour. I went to see Arooj Aftab play at the Barbican recently and her beautiful crystalline music was only interrupted by the sound of someone kicking over a plastic cup every 3 seconds

Anyway that's a tangent but I'm glad you liked the Lee show. I saw a WIP of it 3 years ago and it felt like a slight return to form after a run of pretty ropey shows. Guess it's probably changed a lot post-pandemic

edwardfog

Meanwhile here's my report from my first day of WIPs at ARGfest. Always a pleasure, particularly for how chill the audiences are

Ivo Graham - My Future, My Clutter
First time seeing Ivo, this was a very slick show with a good even distribution of laughs throughout, although nothing that's going to make people fall off their chairs. He's had some interesting stuff happen to him recently (co-parenting through lockdown in the same house as his ex, being a single father in a house with housemates, taking acid and (separately) going to Peppa Pig World) and he's got some good material about it, but you can feel that upper class reserve holding him back from getting really vulnerable. Feels like a slight missed opportunity although he obviously has no obligation to share any pain he may or may not be feeling

Sophie Duker - Hag
I loved her first show Venus to death, and it felt like the result of years of careful thought, whereas this new one has a bit of difficult second album energy. She tells a few personal anecdotes about her grandmother and a lesbian cruise she went on, but it doesn't tie together super well and it sounds like she's slowed her delivery to cover a slight lack of material. In its favour I think the accessibility of it will probably help her capitalise off her recent Taskmaster fame. I'm still rooting for her

Jo Griffin - People Person
One half of Lola & Jo dropping the songs and going solo. It's decent stuff about sex and dating in your thirties, delivered with that weird HR induction energy that she and Lola have absolutely mastered. It's hard to feel like there's much to distinguish her material in a crowded marketplace although I did like the monologues about nights on the town set to music - reminded me of Rob Oldham's "tone poems" from a few years ago

Rob Auton - The Crowd Show
If you know Rob Auton you know what you're getting with this one. If you don't, his mix of offbeat one-liners, poetry and modern shamanism is worth trying at least once. Really wonderful show with some of the biggest laughs of the festival. His bit about his mic technique was huge. I think The Time Show is still my favourite for how seamlessly it mixes his various modes, but hopefully this will get to a similar point soon

Nic Sampson - Marathon, 1904
This is an NZ comic and actor, one of Rose Matafeo's improv crew and recently co-wrote Starstruck with her, with a solo UK debut iirc. This show was such a pleasure, definitely my favourite of the festival so far and one of my favourite discoveries this year. It's kind of a narrative sketch thing based around the disastrous and bizarre 1904 Olympic Marathon, with Sampson doing all the characters. The real-life events of the story are so weird and funny that you could probably get a decent hour just by reading the Wiki page, but Sampson does a great job of bringing it to life with some great acting and set-pieces. Highly recommended if you're heading up to Edinburgh

Ciaran Dowd - King Rodolfo
I think this is the 3rd instalment of the Rodolfo character, the first show of which won Dowd best newcomer at Edinburgh. Given that there's only a month to go before Edinburgh, he seemed embarrassed about how rough a shape it's in at the moment, and although I enjoyed the show I think he's probably right to be worried. It's an ambitious show with puppets and actors, none of which have been arranged yet; he read the whole thing of a script; several bits didn't work at all (inc a rap that I think would have been funny if it was remotely intelligible), and it overran by almost half an hour which is insane for (I assume) a one hour show. And that's without the final scene, which he hasn't written yet. There's a lot of very funny stupid lothario stuff in there which I'm sure he'll turn into a great, tight show, but he really needs to get working fast

Memorex MP3

Last time I saw Lee I was beside a woman who said every punchline about 5 minutes before he said it and spent every moment she wasn't preempting lines laughing in a wildly dramatic way; single handedly ruined the show for me.

she raced out right before the end (despite sitting in the middle of a row) to talk to him first at the merch stand too.

BritishHobo

I will never understand the punchline-finishers. Do they think it's like Rocky Horror Picture Show, or Mamma Mia, where it's assumed/encouraged that you join in?

Small Man Big Horse

Quote from: Pink Gregory on July 02, 2022, 11:16:04 AMit'll all be in the putting it together I think.  There's clearly a through line but it's going to take a bit of working out to make it all hang together.

I'll wait to see her post Edinburgh then, along with about fifty other acts!

Peter Fleming's Woefully Inaccurate History of the BBC (WIP) - Another show from Tom Burgess's seventies children's tv producer Fleming, I saw the previous show and really enjoyed it and the same applies here, though this is perhaps slightly weaker right now, there's a segment about two thirds in about how important the BBC is despite its faults which is passionately delivered, but lacks any jokes that really land (as Burgess commented himself). Otherwise this was really funny, and though it's only being staged once at Edinburgh (which Burgess hinted was his own fault for leaving it to late to book a decent venue), hopefully the finished run will get a good few outings post the festival. 4/5

Pink Gregory

Dumb Belles - Jessie Nixon, Dani Johns and Millie Haswell - WIP

Was expecting a three woman show, but was actually three 20 minute sets, which was a welcome change of pace for a sunday morning at a festival of hour shows.  All likeable, confident and energetic performers, fairly club-standard material (but what would you expect?), all landed very well in a room of about 12 people.  Liked 'em.  Would go again.  To see these ladies.

Pink Gregory

Joe Wells - I Am Autistic

Thought provoking and not lacking in big laughs, it's mostly about a clip of his standup going viral and having to deal with being an unelected spokesman for people with autism.  This probably landed a bit differently as an spectrumite myself because there are certain concepts that wouldn't seem too different to my norm?  I would encourage everyone to go and see it if they can.  I, P.G. endorse this endorsement.  Sorry I'm tired.

I feel like his material was quite unique, like you wouldn't hear it from anyone else, it's a real shame that not many people seem to be out on a sunday for the last day of the festival, because he didn't have a lot of crowd energy to work with, and I feel like it would have helped?  No faint praise on his work though. 


Pink Gregory

Louise Leigh - Louise Leigh Amused

Firstly, great title, endeared me to her right away.  Stepping in for Beth Black - who couldn't make it - at the old favourite, the 11th hour.

This was a welcome shot in the arm for half 9 on a sunday, but I wished that she'd had Jo Caulfield's packed room, because her routines were great - really quite inventive stuff about what is usually a fairly mundane theme like middle age (she started standup in her 40s) with loads of silly immature jokes and clowning which I really wasn't expecting.  Really confident and engaging performance, but she deserves a bigger, less tired audience.  Definitely made some new fans tonight.


edwardfog

I forgot to remember that Ciaran Dowd show wins back a star for the inclusion of an extremely visceral and well-done scene of Rodolfo climbing into a horse's anus

ARG Day 2

Rhys James – Attempts
Another very slick, fast-talking hour, light on gimmicks but with plenty of big laughs. I find he doesn't often have a huge amount of depth to his shows, and rarely shares any big life events or anything like that, which can make them kind of hard to remember, but he's got such a great acid wit. His style is a little too straightforward to be my favourite of any given year but I always feel like seeing him is money well spent, and I think this is the most I've laughed in one of his hours.

Cerys Bradley – Sportsperson
A show about sport and being nonbinary from a young comic making their hour debut. Although the laughs are never really overwhelming and Bradley's stage presence is pretty quiet, there's plenty to enjoy here. This particular flavour of NB is one that I haven't really encountered in stand-up before, and the show is made more memorable via a bunch of interesting staging choices (pre-recorded audio, handing out Snickerses, prehensile goose phallus etc). I don't know how much of that is down to Bradley's own material but I felt like I detected the hand of the show's director Joz Norris in a few of those choices. Enjoyable show, and they'll probably do some great work with a few more hours under their belt.

Sean McLoughlin – So Be It...
A real comedian's comedian – in this show alone I noticed Rhys James, Jordan Brookes and Adam Hess all having a lovely time. His lack of demographic hook and reluctance to give too much away about himself have put the brakes on mainstream recognition, but the craft is really strong. Difficult to know what to say about him because while he's really good at his job, you couldn't really say he's observational or surreal or really anything: the closest he has to a persona is that of a frustrated everyman, which he definitely dials up in this show. Lots of sniffing too – he kind of comes across as someone having a coke rant in a pub. So many fun, surprising lines though, including great material about his wife's citizenship battle and writing jokes for the Golden Globes.

Glenn Moore – Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me, Glenn I'm Sixty Moore
Some people will probably see the pun title and assume it's Moore of the same (posh-sounding boy doing rapid-fire one liners) which would be a shame because this is a significant step up, and one of the few shows I've seen where it feels like the comic has used the enforced pandemic break to really hone the show, and cram three years of work into one hour. The jokes still come thick and fast, to the extent that he includes a running joke about the comparative paucity of a "laugh a minute" show. He's also bent all the jokes into a rough narrative arc (for the first time?) making it way more memorable and cohesive, although his mid-show breakdown is maybe the least convincing I've ever seen. Even more so than McLoughlin, he's filled it with so many clever devices and surprising moments, you can feel the audience struggling to keep up. Really strong work from a guy who I've never really appreciated before. Recommended.

Lara Ricote – Grl/Latinx/Def
Winner of this year's Funny Women award, a Latin American deaf girl based in the Netherlands, doing her debut hour, touching on all those identity markers plus a bunch of stuff about sex, relationships and shoplifting. I absolutely LOVED this – can't remember being so charmed by a performer in a long time, and by the end was just wishing she'd keep going for another hour. I just think she's got funny bones on a level with Lou Sanders, although she's a much smoother, more relaxed stage presence. Her delivery is so funny, the stories are great, and she magically finds ways to talk about race and identity while completely swerving all the established patterns still adhered to by so many performers. Highly recommended.

Pierre Novellie – Why Can't I Just Enjoy Things?
Finally for the weekend, a slightly disappointing turnout for this interesting show from Novellie. I've always been in two minds about him before. He's got such a clever and quick mind, and is often extremely funny on Bud Pod, but his style of high status, isn't-it-crazy-that-I'm-so-correct-about-everything comedy doesn't leave much room to really embrace him as a performer. As an observational comic he's a reliable three stars from me, and this show is not really any different. Some big laughs plus lots of bits that don't quite push you over the edge. He waits until the last few minutes to deliver some satisfying structural stuff and a little revelation about the nature of the show, but by that point it feels too late for the vehicle to really take flight.

edwardfog

Quote from: Pink Gregory on July 03, 2022, 09:55:12 PMJoe Wells - I Am Autistic

Thought provoking and not lacking in big laughs, it's mostly about a clip of his standup going viral and having to deal with being an unelected spokesman for people with autism.  This probably landed a bit differently as an spectrumite myself because there are certain concepts that wouldn't seem too different to my norm?  I would encourage everyone to go and see it if they can.  I, P.G. endorse this endorsement.  Sorry I'm tired.

I feel like his material was quite unique, like you wouldn't hear it from anyone else, it's a real shame that not many people seem to be out on a sunday for the last day of the festival, because he didn't have a lot of crowd energy to work with, and I feel like it would have helped?  No faint praise on his work though. 

I think I saw a version of this show a couple of months ago. Agree with you about the autism stuff being quite unique, but felt like half of the show I saw was political satire that fell into very familiar patterns. Glad you enjoyed it

Pink Gregory

I wouldn't say that you're wrong.  But the way he performed it seemed quite pointed and genuine rather than trying to do clever satire and I think that helped.

Small Man Big Horse

While booking the Kim Noble tickets at the Soho Theatre I just noticed that Dr Brown is doing a run at the Soho Theatre in August and tickets are only £12 - https://sohotheatre.com/shows/dr-brown-workdsff-intlsdjfj-progressdsdfdfn-2/

edwardfog

Vittorio Angelone - Translations
A young Irish-Italian comic from Belfast, over in London doing a few previews before Edinburgh. I feel like he's got a bit of buzz around him but I may just be confused by his good looks. I feel like he belongs to a loose faction of young stand-up purists who are rejecting trends for theatrical flourishes and heavy emotional content. He even has a bit at the top of this show about how he really wants to win a comedy award but isn't sure how to do it without these gimmicks. Which is fair enough, but I wish I knew what he thinks he's bringing to the table in its place. It's loosely tied together with a conceptual device reflecting Brian Friel's play Translations, but the content is extremely routine stuff about wacky relatives and having a name that's difficult to pronounce. Beyond a couple of bright spots I was surprised to find myself pretty bored for most of the show. For such a young comic he's also heavily reliant on a collection of stock hackisms. Am I the only one who hears "that's the stupidest joke in the show but it's my favourite so it's staying in!" at every single show?

edwardfog

Kate Berlant - Like You've Never Seen Her
An American alt-darling returning to the Soho Theatre for a quick run of a new show. Because she annoyingly doesn't title her shows (at least not when she's in Soho) I was expecting something similar to her last one, which was a masterful, apparently fully-improvised hour in which she responded hilariously to minute cues given off by the audience. This show is very different, scripted to the hilt and filled with lighting and sound cues and other theatrical tics. Berlant's character delivers a supremely self-absorbed one-woman show about being born a star, moving to the big city and overcoming her gift for theatre to take her rightful place in front of the camera. It's performed with extreme confidence and glamour and is often very funny although it has only a couple of actual jokes and relies exclusively on a deep well of archness that becomes a little deadening after a while. If you saw any of this material written down, you'd assume you were listening to a narcissistic actress - it's only the delivery that makes it funny. But if you're responsive to that tone, you'll enjoy it a lot, and the final stunt is a major coup of irony.

Pink Gregory

Quote from: edwardfog on July 13, 2022, 12:07:56 PMAm I the only one who hears "that's the stupidest joke in the show but it's my favourite so it's staying in!" at every single show?

Genuinely, I really hate this.  Just own telling a joke, my man.  Jokes *are* stupid, that's usually why they're funny.  It's quite close to that tedious, self-absorbed irony that some people have, "Imagine having a joke like thiiiiis!"

Small Man Big Horse

Quote from: edwardfog on July 13, 2022, 12:31:06 PMKate Berlant - Like You've Never Seen Her
An American alt-darling returning to the Soho Theatre for a quick run of a new show. Because she annoyingly doesn't title her shows (at least not when she's in Soho) I was expecting something similar to her last one, which was a masterful, apparently fully-improvised hour in which she responded hilariously to minute cues given off by the audience. This show is very different, scripted to the hilt and filled with lighting and sound cues and other theatrical tics. Berlant's character delivers a supremely self-absorbed one-woman show about being born a star, moving to the big city and overcoming her gift for theatre to take her rightful place in front of the camera. It's performed with extreme confidence and glamour and is often very funny although it has only a couple of actual jokes and relies exclusively on a deep well of archness that becomes a little deadening after a while. If you saw any of this material written down, you'd assume you were listening to a narcissistic actress - it's only the delivery that makes it funny. But if you're responsive to that tone, you'll enjoy it a lot, and the final stunt is a major coup of irony.

That's really interesting, I almost went to this but by the time I'd found someone to go with it had sold out, I'm almost glad it had now as given the price of the tickets I'd expect a five star show, plus as her last show with John Early was recently recorded for Peacock hopefully this will be too.