So this was the second year of the Actually Rather Good Comedy Festival (ARGComFest), and I got tickets early for the whole weekend. I arrived a little later than expected but luckily the show didn't start on time. I checked out both the venues, but to be honest it seemed pointless as I had decided to stay downstairs pretty much all day.
and explained that doing this show was his punishment for throwing a quiche at a dog. A series of sketches followed which all pretty much hit the mark. He is very likeable, and I can see he's grown up watching Rik Mayall.
I spotted Heather and moved over to join her. I had never seen John Kearns before, and I'm so glad I did. He make Brian Gittins look almost normal. Coming on stage in a Bernie Clifton style ostrich outfit (but much cheaper looking) he terrified the audience into submission. We all felt for this strange man, and at the end of his set he (for no obvious reason) decided to get changed to look like a lovely lady. He got all the men on stage to perform a mime with him. And I'm not going to tell you what it was, other than it was ever so slightly distasteful! Go and see him!
I'm familiar with John Luke Roberts through ACMS that he runs with the aforementioned Thom Tuck. Starting with his already legendary "Patricia Routledge" routine he want on to insult the audience indvidually with pre-written zingers. He even insulted an apple off a man's head.
|John Luke Roberts|
|John Luke Roberts|
What can I say about Colin Hoult apart from he competely brought the house down. For me, he just edged out Acaster as the best act of the evening with his tall tales of Snottingham and The Carrot Horse. (though later quite a few people were raving about Aisling Bea, who I unfortunately didn't see) One lad at the front was almost in tears laughing and Hoult used him a few times for audience participation. He was a little over keen though, but not to the point where the performance was being overshadowed.
By the end of the night I was getting pretty tired and joined Neal at the front to see Henry Paker. I didn't know too much about him. He was going down really well, and maybe it was just my tiredness that stopped me laughing as much as I should have. He was more traditional than the previous comics, and Michael McIntyre and Eddie Izzard seemed to be his main influences.
I snuck out early and headed home to my lovely bed. I slept like crap though, so not sure how today is going to go. It's a very strong line up for today with Tony Law, Michael Legge and Bridget Christie to look forward to as well as my first ever live Pappy's Flatshare Slamdown. I shall continue this blog when I get back tonight... See you later
The first act I wanted to see was Stuart Laws. I had caught him at ARG last year and remember ending up on the stage to play the part of a mixing bowl. the mixing bowl routine made another appearance today but thankfully I could just relax in my seat. Most of the show was the same as last year but that's not a criticism. Stuart is a very likable guy who interacts with the audience as well as I've seen anyone do it. After picking out Rob as the alpha male of the group (on account of him wearing a loud shirt and having his own harem) he discussed who likes to be the big spoon and the little spoon, and it ended up with a twitter friend of mine being invited on to the stage in order to avoid Stuart spooning him. All in all, very silly and a lot of fun!
After a day and a half, it was finally time for me to venture upstairs. Tony Law was on. And no one in their right mind can miss Tony Law. Tony's shows are always gloriously bamboozling in the early stages, and with many confusing historic references, this is no exception! I was puzzled for a while why Tony was telling one story in an New York Italian accent for some time, but it all became clear at the end. After the gig I bumped into Tony outside and he introduced me to his beautiful wife, Storm and asked me if I thought the show was good. I always find it amazing when a brilliant comic who has just done a great show seems to doubt themselves in any small way. But Tony has nothing to worry about, and of course this is another must see at Edinburgh.
I was planning on seeing a bit of Mae Martin before heading out for a little break, purely on the strength that
Back upstairs for another comic I can never miss. The adorably furious Bridget Christie. I had seen her about a week or two ago do a preview but I couldn't resist another one. Neal and I were in the second row this time, and both ended up laughing like idiots throughout, even at the jokes we had heard last week. Her show is an unapologetic show about feminism, and even though to some ears that may sound like a bit of a lecture, in true Bridget style, it is mainly gloriously silly. She speaks about her new habit of throwing out magazines in shops that are placed on the bottom shelf instead of the top, and I won a brilliant prize in her competition just for the boys in the audience. I won't spoil the show for anyone else, but the prize is absolutely inspired.
I had one more drink with Heather and her friend then headed off to find we had missed the last tubes. Normally I would be really annoyed about this but today I was calm, relaxed and philosophical as I fired up Citymapper to find where the hell my bus stop was.
Well done ARGComFest for a brilliant weekend.
The Comedy Crawl is dead (hopefully.) Long live ARG !