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Sunday 18th November 2007

Thanks to all those of you who have already donated to the 5th anniversary Krazy Krize (Prize) Kiveaway (Giveaway). Please join in for your chance to win those stupid and/or brilliant prizes. Histor's Eye Patch! Come on it's a piece of TV histor-y (a p-egg of T Vegg Histor tree, like a tree where a bird lives). It's so much more than a tiny piece of plastic with a bit of broken string on it. I am going to throw in one of Histor's feathers too (to go to the same person). I have literally gone Krazy!

I was part of an extraordinary comedy gig this afternoon - not only did it take place in the afternoon, which is strange enough, the venue was also somewhat unusual - the lounge of Evening Standard Comedy critic, Bruce Dessau. It was all part of the charming Laughter In Odd Places initiative. I did a gig for them at Docklands Museum earlier in the month, which was strange enough, but this one took the biscuit. As well as a nice selection of cakes and doughnuts laid on by the Dessau family.
I arrived after the start of the gig, due to bad traffic in central London, but could see things were in full flow through the steamed up windows. Around about 30 people were sitting in the lounge, with the lovely Jo Neary kneeling in front of them. Even though I haven't really done many gigs in people's houses before I was professional enough to know not to ring the doorbell, lightly tapping on the front door to be greeted by Terry Saunders and Bruce Dessau's wife offering me a cup of tea.
Although there was no microphone and the lighting consisted of the lounge light being on, Jo had the audience hanging on her every word.
I know I have probably overused the word charming in describing this and the museum gig, but it really is the best word to describe what is going on. Whilst comedy in a club can be exhilarating and highly charged, taking the form outside of that arena and putting it somewhere it shouldn't really be, alters it, makes audience and performer reconsider what is going on and it becomes like an art exhibition. It's faintly magical.
Terry and Tom Searle whose idea this all is (I think they copied it of some Americans initially, but it's still different) also choose excellent and interesting acts, and as Jo said it's quite an honour to be invited, even though we were only paid in tea and lemon cakes.
The middle act was one of my current favourites Pappy's Fun Club and they really rocked the place with their stupid and delightful skits. And every now and again, whilst enjoying the comedy, you would remember where we were. They wondered how the neighbours would be reacting to suddenly having a crowd of people singing cub songs on a Sunday afternoon. They went incredibly well and I told them it was always difficult to follow the Pappy's in a living room based gig. They are the kings of that.
But despite the oddness of the situation I actually found it oddly relaxing, just as I had at the museum. Being in a lounge made it easy to be a lot more chatty and whilst I had thought of some gags about Bruce and his house (and how when I had been invited for a special "private gig" at his house, I just assumed I was another in the long line of comics that the critic had invited to his home, in the hope of getting an extra star on the next review). Then without any plan to do so, I talked about how this reminded me a little of the gig I did for Elton John, which worked as an interesting diversion, before heading on to deliver my usual collection of filth - which again seemed worse given the location and the fact that the owner of the house's 15 year old daughter was sitting at my feet. Still I pushed things as far as I could, allowing my mouth to run ahead of my brain, but it all mainly worked, even though from my perspective it was strange to see the audience so clearly, in the harsh light of the living room light bulb, having to cope with the inappropriateness of delivering my awful thoughts in a family living room.
It was really special and it's good to see that Dessau enjoyed it too, even though I mocked his curtains, giving it this five star review .
You'd better keep that up for all the future reviews you give to me, Dessau. I know where you live!



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