Gig 57: SAS Comedy @ Lass O’Gowrie, Manchester – 12th May 2012
May 13, 2012 7 Comments
Last night marked the final gig in my first year of comedy, so it seemed fitting that it should be where I first started (Gig 1), SAS Comedy. This was my ninth time at SAS, but the first time that I’d done a) more than one act in a night, and b) worked with someone else.
In the first half of the show, I reprised Den Kodd (first seen in Gig 33), as I had some new jokes that I wanted to try. Some of the jokes were existing jokes added to Den’s set following Gig 49, when I realised that they’d be a good fit. I also produce a steady stream of suitably rubbish jokes for Den\Terry to try. As I had a really busy week, I didn’t really have any time to work on what I would do with the act. The main thing was to give the jokes a try and just have fun with it.
It didn’t work quite as well as I would have liked. Some of the jokes were perhaps a little too obtuse. My favourite new joke didn’t work at all (it relied on people guessing what the punchline was going to be, and then me subverting that, but I don’t think they guessed what it should be). I also felt a bit weird about doing the exact same introduction of who Terry\Den was as a character, so I messed about with it. In hindsight, this was a bit stupid as I knew that the audience hadn’t seen the act before, and it meant that Terry wasn’t really fully established. Some of the jokes worked, though, and it was a good learning experience for when I do it again.
The second half of the show saw me perform in a sketch “Simeon Gold and Oliver Brass”. This was only the second time that I’d worked with somebody else, the first being the very weird wrestling sketch from Gig 13. I had been talking about working on some sketches with SAS regular, Lee Fenwick, so I set about thinking what we could do. I had the idea that I could use my Simeon Gold (the one man theatre company) character – first seen at Gig 26 (and recently revived at Gig 50) – and give him someone to play with. I set about writing a draft for the two “actors”. As a solo character, the joke is that Simeon (and his “plays”) are just utterly ridiculous and rubbish. The addition of Oliver Brass obviously changed the dynamic, and so shifted where the humour was. The basic concept was that the two men were in a right-on, left-wing theatre group, who think their art is going to change the world, but they don’t realise how bad they are at acting, or how patronising they actually are to the people they’re attempting to help. With the concept clear, it didn’t take me long to complete a script.
We only got around to rehearsing the piece on the afternoon of the gig, but it only took a few run-throughs to get it pretty much locked in (barring me forgetting to say “Olly”, which was a key line). The performance itself went really well (I didn’t forget to say “Olly”) and it really seemed to work as a sketch. It was quite a challenge working with someone else, in the sense that I actually had to act when on stage and be conscious of the other person, as opposed to just getting lost in a daft character when I’m performing solo. It was hugely enjoyable, though, to have someone to bounce off, and it’s certainly something I’d like to do more of and get better at.
So, that’s it, my first year in comedy is complete. It’s kind of spooky that I completed 57 gigs, given the significance of that number for my creative pursuits. Wooooooo. 57.