Calstock Arts Centre – Lucy Porter – Northern Soul – 8 December 2013
The Best Things Come in Small Packages.
Lucy came scuttling up the aisle a few minutes before the gig kick-off time wrapped up for winter complete with knitted hat and was soon bouncing back on stage only a minute or so behind time.
She is really quite tiny, and it was just as well that they had put the stage in as she definitely needed it so that the audience at the back could see her. Small she may be but what a lovely bubbly personality she has…soon having the audience totally wrapped up in her story…
Because that is what she is…a story teller. This show is all about how Lucy feels that, although she was born in Croydon (which has apparently applied for city status more than once!!) she has a “Northern Soul”.
Lucy told us how she fell in love with Morrissey when she was quite young and went off to Manchester to university hoping that she would meet him and persuade him to run off into the sunset with her. There is a lot more to this tale but I won’t spoil it for anyone by telling all.
Haring off outside at the interval to ring her hubby who was home minding their two small children, Lucy came back to tell us that she didn’t know how we got a signal of any sort or the Internet in Calstock and had we heard about Nelson Mandela yet, whereupon some wit at the back asked if he was out of jail. “Well I have good news, and I have bad news…” was the rejoinder.
Lucy is a top act and well worth a viewing on this tour.
(Dave: Anagram – Lucy Porter = Court Reply)
Exeter Corn Exchange – Exeter Comedy Club Christmas Special – 12/12/2013
A not so happy anniversary…
Dave had decided that nipping up to the Corn Exchange for the comedy club’s Christmas Special would be the best way to mark our fourth wedding anniversary so that is where we found ourselves on the 12th December.
A fraught journey (it was late night shopping in Exeter and the queues to get into the city were horrendous so we were held up enough to have to rush dinner) ended well with us having the promised better seats plus some free choccies on the table.
Rory O’ Hanlon, our MC for the night, came on and before even an introductory joke or two, launched straight into audience interaction. There was a fair sized audience, all at tables, and I think several had never done comedy before, but were out for their work Christmas do, and had been dragged along. This sort of audience is very hard work for comedians as they get nothing back for their efforts and it’s not much fun for the rest of the punters either as they have to listen to a lot of ‘umm’ing and ‘err’ing and it’s all a bit like getting blood out of the proverbial stone.
Eventually Rory brought on our opener David Morgan. David’s act seems to revolve mostly around his homosexuality, which is fine, neither Dave or I have a problem with this, but mildly funny as most of it was, this seemed to be the sum of his material. There was some good wordplay, some funny stuff about his partner (another David) and a story about how gay guys make great wing men.
Into a break and then back to our MC who tried his best to get the audience gee’d up again and then we were into our second act Henry Paker.
There’s no denying it, at the end of the evening we both thought that Henry was the best act of the evening…his tall slim figure dominated the stage and his material about his “look”, on just how much can someone spend on cushions, and how his wife has different names and personas, Katya, Genevieve or Sue amongst others, depending on what she is wearing and what they are doing, was top notch. We are seeing him again Feb 1st at the Bike Shed as part of their comedy festival and we’re looking forward to seeing his whole show.
Another break and into our headlining act Raymond and Mr Timpkins. There’s a lot going on in this double act…Raymond is big and shall we say “cuddly” with a woolly hat being worn alongside a suit, whilst Mr Timpkins sports a bicycle helmet for comedy effect.
Their act comprises a backing track of well edited and cut popular and classic tunes alongside banners, boards and all other manner of materials with text and multiple fonts used very imaginatively to illustrate the music, sometimes rightly, sometimes wrongly interpreted (but on purpose), all done brilliantly and raising chortles, laughs and chuckles (and sometimes groans) from the audience. All of the materials are stored, and introduced, then re-stored, then re-used in a “cabinet of tricks” which is wheeled onstage and the whole act flows continuously for about 25 minutes.. If any mistakes were made I didn’t spot them…the timing has to be spot on and the wordplay has to be seamless for this to work.
The act is good, but after about ten minutes, we were both thinking “is this it?” It is a very clever thing that they do, but 25 minutes of it may be a bit much for your average stand-up comedy audience. Saying that, the rest of the punters did seem to be thoroughly enjoying it so it’s horses for courses and maybe they just weren’t for us.
(Dave: I booked the Corn Exchange Gig a few weeks prior when looking for something to see on our anniversary. The Corn Exchange did give us the tickets for free following a not so pleasant experience at the first Exeter Comedy Club we attended on the 5th April. And they did give us a good view right at the back. I was very keen for the headliner was Mark Olver who we have been trying to see for ages, but we only found out on the day that he had been replaced for this show. With shows in Plymouth and Tavistock available to us, this turned out to be a very long way to go for a mediocre show with the exception of the excellent Henry Paker. Another disappointment with this show was the venues lack of help in helping get our book signed. We managed to miss our first signature of the year in Henry Paker but can remedy this when we see him in February 2014. I don’t think our opinion of this as a comedy club venue has changed much since our first visit. It is just too big and impersonal. Though it is an excellent venue for tour shows, when the seating and stage are completely different. We gave them another chance and it is just not for us. Though the size of the crowd there clearly shows we are in a minority in our opinion.)
Anagrams: Rory O’Hanlon – Horny? No Oral , Henry Paker – Hanker Prey, David Morgan – Avid Mod Gran, Raymond and Mr Timkins – Ant Rims Mork and Mindy