I’ve had a very funny weekend. Fortunately, it was intentionally funny, starting with Bill Bailey on Friday night. The tickets found their way into my possession very last minute and completely by chance, but I am so glad we said yes because Bill was hilarious. So hilarious that the woman sat next to me couldn’t control herself.
He was playing at the Princes Hall in Aldershot – not a venue I’m familiar with despite the fact it’s about 10 minutes away from my house. The best thing about this was the fact it was local – Bill started off asking whether Aldershot had recently gone through some kind of nuclear accident, and then mocked a story in the local paper. Within 10 minutes, I had cried my eye make-up off.
It was listed as a warm-up gig, however it was a solid two hours of brilliant absurdity – it felt like a ‘proper’ gig. He skipped from subject to subject, from almost killing his father-in-law in Norway to Skyping in Estonia, peppered with his trademark songs.
And with it being so nearby, we were home in time for an early night, ready for more comedy the following day at the Greenwich Comedy Festival.
The comedy festival market has been seriously lacking since Laughs in the Parks folded a few years ago (I say this with no evidence, other than I haven’t seen a festival lately…). We had tickets for Saturday afternoon, but the festival itself ran for 5 days in the grounds of the National Maritime Museum, conveniently on the same road as Tim who we collected on the way from North Greenwich station.
Husband and I headed straight for the food stalls as we were starving, ignoring the demands to “GET A MAGNERS NOW” – we feasted on venison burger and really nice chips (they were frustratingly out of sweet potato fries. Middle class problems). The tent itself was oddly dark and initially insanely warm. I felt quite bad for not listening to the first two acts – compere John Robins and Richard Herring – as the heat was making me feel so sleepy.
Both John and Richard seemed to talk about genitals in quite a bit of detail, but I was amused by Richard’s exponential mathematic problems. It was perhaps a little too early for Richard’s brand of comedy but it did make me giggle.
Sara Pascoe was up next, and I LOVED HER. Her comedy ticked all of my boxes, especially equating people telling her to have a baby to her telling them they should go on QI (“you should really go on QI before it’s too late and they stop showing it”). I definitely want to see in her own show. I also knew where she got her dress and shoes from – she is me, in comedian form.
Finally, Adam Buxton bounded on stage (although we had already seen him setting up his laptop, which I was mesmerised by). I haven’t seen Adam doing his stand-up for a while, and he has a noticeably different energy to when we see him at the BFI. Most of the things were saw were new to us, so that was a bonus. His videos, keynote presentations, and YouTube comments were insanely haphazard. I love Dr Buckles.
The festival itself could have done with a touch less branding. It was bordering on the ridiculous and needed to be dialled down a bit. It was a very pleasant afternoon though, and I’m sad I didn’t see more acts. Maybe next year. If it doesn’t go under like Laughs in the Park.