Hello again. Since I last checked in things have been hectic and indigestion-inducing. But you don’t need to know about that.
I’ve just come out of Freeze – the new show by Tim Key and Tom Basden of Cowards (coming to BBC 4) and Tim Key and Tom Basden fame. Tom was if.comeddie best newcomer last year and Tim is getting his own back by treating him like dirt in this double-act comedy show that fuses their material. Add extra cans of beer and a very funny youtube dance routine and you get the kind of show you can only catch at the fringe. They can be either excellent or excruciating, but with performers this strong it could only be the former and even if there’s a wee bit of self-indulgence, it’s forgivable.
Yesterday’s shows included the hottest sketch group of the moment, Pappy’s Fun Club. This was really energetic and funny – you can’t help but enjoy it. The only thing that might have stopped me was a pre-show social faux pas involving Pappy’s Matthew Crosby. We had a moment of recognition, said hello and I mumbled ‘I don’t think we’ve met properly, I’m…,’ ‘Matt Tiller’ he interjected, ‘we met at a Carey Marx gig with Joe Wilkinson three years ago.’ Finally, I have met a man with a more anal memory than mine. Luckily the encounter didn’t affect his performance. Or mine. I was a fantastic audience member chuckling away without checking my texts once. (And I did receive one, so there).
Richard Herring was phenomenal, as ever. Just brilliant. His hour is about growing up as a boy in the school where his dad was the headmaster and is called The Headmaster’s Son – the man’s a genius. It’s the way he takes this and spins a web of funny, touching and challenging stand-up that makes you both sit back in awe and still want to give him a cuddle, but not in a weird way.
Also saw a play, Be My Baby that a friend of mine is in – it’s about single girls getting pregnant in the sixties, which was bad. The narrative was simplistic, but the songs and the energy of the performances made it an enjoyable show, very funny in places.
James Sherwood, like me, is doing an hour of comedy songs and musically inspired stand-up. Enjoyable it was too – he’s very Radio 4 friendly and revels in it.
John mentioned Scott Capurro in a previous comment – some friends who are staying with me went to see him and hated it. They were appalled and they’re not sensitive souls, so John’s assessment was strikingly accurate.
Meanwhile, I’ve been having lots of fun singing songs at people and was even asked to sign a CD by two groups in today’s audience. Amazing. I write a song every day for the show and we have a vote to see which is the best (the winning song will get a spa voucher) and you can see some of the entries so far here. I really like the one about the Invasion of the Jellyfish (about Portuguese Man O’ War invading the South coast) but it lost to a ditty about Madonna adopting another Malawian baby and the Daily Mail’s socialist revolutionary take on the story (no really).
Looking forward to the interactive comedy play, Office Party, which I’m booked to see tomorrow….