Saturday, 15 October 2011

It's mad right? A comedian no one has really ever heard of, booking an 850 seat room, and not allowing the audience to buy tickets at the box office, online or over the phone? Where the only way to buy tickets was to meet him personally? Which meant he had to stand for days with a ludicrously large "Comedy Sale" sign all over London flogging tickets to passers by? Where he even made home visits to delver his tickets?

Well, this is what Sanderson Jones has done. I have written about him before where I first heard of this idea. Sanderson's logic is that as he is one of the few, or possibly only, comedian to sell all his tickets to his smaller Edinburgh Fringe shows by himself, why not book one big show?

Here is Sanderson's introduction:

Sanderson also arranged a few meet ups at his local pub for the audience to get to know each other. Well after all, it's a bit unfair if he has met every single one of us, and we haven't. There will be no strangers at this gig.

Now I tend to go to smaller gigs. It's just the way I like them. Looking back over the gigs I've attended the biggest would probably be a sold out gig at The Leicester Square Theatre. This means that the gig was the biggest comedy gig I have seen since I saw Billy Connolly back in the 90s.

Sanderson sells tickets to "chuggers":

New Londoner, Sarah had come along to these meet ups. As a big comedy fan she had seen Sanderson flogging his tickets in Edinburgh but hadn't seen him. I also met a couple of fun people at the pub meets and we arranged, along with Sir Bob to meet up at the White Swan near Highbury Corner for drinks beforehand. I made the surprisingly clever decision to eat at the pub which made the rest of the night much less embarrassing.

Why is my camera showing the wrong date?
The Union Chapel is covered in scaffolding but inside is a great space. The downside being that due to it being a church they don't let you bring booze into the venue (A-boooo!)

They do sell it though which is nice. We queued up for a short time before passing Sanderson on the steps, still flogging tickets.

Am enormous screen was showing #comedysale twitter updates. I've always enjoyed live broadcast twitter feeds before and naturally writing rude words to them so mentioned casually on twitter this was happening. And bless them, they sent them in thick and fast, but unfortunately the feed had to be manually refreshed so most of them got lost which was a shame.

The show started with a slide show of all the tickets he had sold to each punter. This made us feel integral to the show if we didn't already. Sanderson came on and seemed genuinely blown away by the turn out. One man, selling 750 tickets was no mean feat!

He had done his research and the first part of the show was peppered throughout with rather embarrassing Facebook and Twitter updates from the audience. A comedy critic had not shown up, so Sanderson decided that in return he went onto Amazon there and then and left a terrible review of his last book. He reviewed the critic more than the book! I think it started with a C and ended with a T.

There was a section where Sanderson put a backdrop behind a lady in the front row and signed into Chat Roulette, finally dropping the sheet to reveal the entire cheering audience as soon as he saw an erect cock (or, as this was in a church, a man in pants - we still saw cock though!)

There was video footage of "sexy" 7 year olds dancing - (Totes Inappropes!), as well as the story of Sanderson's love lost, won, and lost again when he was in Australia. Sanderson spoke about his failures and lack of concentration, all backed up with this amazing multimedia presentation.

The show ended with fire eating, juggling, sexy
nurses (that he had chased round the room Benny Hill style earlier) and the biggest round of applause I've heard for a comedy event in a long long time. There was even an unforced standing ovation.

It's really not 2008!
What an astounding show! At the end of the show, Sanderson told us of the after show party at The Garage, so we hit the bar at The Union, then headed straight there but found it was closed till 11pm. Not to worry, we headed to The Famous Cock (no sniggering please) and went back over. For people in their 40s like me, it was great music and everyone seemed to be having a lot of drunken fun. Sanderson certainly was !

I think I may have even took my top off and may have grinded against a guys bag as he was doing the same from the other side. I think that may have caused a little bit of bafflement and confusion.

I did bump into the lovely Martin White in the Union Chapel bar who reminded me that his Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra is playing at the same venue today (ie Saturday) so think I should wrap this blog up now and get ready for MFMO !

Here's a little snippet of what you missed:

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