So I am off to Highlight tonight with work colleagues for our Christmas party. This used to be a Jongleurs and is often spoken about with disdain by the comedians on the circuit that I tend to frequent. So when my boss announced that we were going there I looked as if I was pleased. I sort of was, but as she knows I'm a big comedy fan she wanted me to be pleased, so I did my best!
I started to worry about it. I have never been to a comedy show before when not everyone was a fan of the acts or comedy in general and have a few reservations.
First, not everyone will be that interested in the comedy. They are there for a night out with their colleagues, or perhaps there will be a rowdy stag or hen party with some idiots who think that heckling will be hilarious and will somehow add to the show, and that the acts will appreciate it.
Secondly, the doors open at 6 and there is plenty free beer available. (Well, for us anyway as our company is footing the bill.) This won't necessarily be condusive to paying attention later on. I was annoyed enough at the Richard Herring show on Wednesday whena table behind us quietly babbled amongst themselves during sets from Carl Donnelly and Eric Lampaert!
Then there is the fact that as a more corporate comedy club, will the acts have to broaden their material so that everyone gets it? Carl Donnelly said that this isn't necessarily the case and has seen Tony Law completely bamboozle the crowds with his unusual brain, and that the Highlight in Battersea can be extremely good.
Finally, will I know any of the acts and be hideously embarrassed by the drunken fools around me.
These are just my initial thoughts and I will continue the blog once I get back to compare my preconceptions with the reality. On that note, I'm off to trek through the snow and ice to Clapham Junction and if I get back without breaking a limb will continue the story.
You know what? It wasn't too bad! I didnt realise the venue was attached to a Walkabout so we met there and were treated to 10 free drinks tickets by our boss. Now it was tough getting through these but I managed it in the end.
Once we got up to the venue we took our seats. Looked like most people here were here as a company do. The compere was rather weak and , and the first act (didn't catch his name) was rather dire, with his rather dreary jokes about "Mussies".
It was fun when we told the compere that we worked for an adult chat line company and he didn't believe us. I think he got the wrong end of the stick, assuming we talked filth on the phone, but none of us put him right (apart from one of the shyer girls who made it clear she worked in admin!) He wanted a number to ring to prove we were telling him the truth and well done to my colleague who gave him the priciest 0906 number rather than the all too affordable 0871! Perhaps he spent too long with us, as I could see some of the other tables getting bored of the conversation.
Abandoman came on and pushed things up a gear. I had heard great things about them and when they asked us to find unusual things in our pockets and bags we held up ear plugs, asthma inhalers etc only for them to hold them in the air and build an improvised rap about them. Absolutely astounding. Go and see them when you can.. The atmosphere was fantastic and everyone had huge smiles on their faces.
The headline act, Jeff Innocent was also a turn up for the books. Looking like an England football hooligan he took to the stage and explained that people don't believe he s a comedian and I can see why people think that. He does look intimidating on stage and only an idiot would heckle. And yes indeed, some of our party threw some drunken heckles out (that didn't make much sense) that were very ably and comically batted away by Innocent. I only had to ssshhh people on a couple of occasions!
Now out of all the people there it seems everyone was there courtesy of their work. There were 2 couples that had paid by themselves to come in, but I think £25 is not a price I'd be willing to pay if I was coughing it up myself. The night was fun, but overpriced if you are buying your own ticket.
All in all, not the most hideous night I expected!