We’re well into this autumn’s season of Screaming Blue Murders at the Derngate, and as usual our compere was Dan Evans, giving us some good new material as well as a few old favourites, and most of it worked pretty well. Dan’s job is to get us all in the mood and to explore a few possibilities with the audience which he always does superbly. When he announced he was selling his book outside at the end, it received a “NOT AGAIN!” from a lady who I think had done precisely the same heckle last year. And she still hasn’t bought a copy.
It was a real quality trio of comics this week, two of whom were new to us. First up, and one of our newbies, was Joe Lycett. The bastard lovechild, if such a thing were possible, of Julian Clary and Kenneth Williams his act is very camp and very funny. He starts off with the slightly threatening chatting up of guys in the front row but wisely uses that as a base to spin off onto other punchy material, rather than dwelling on it too long. He had excellent observations about being a hypochondriac, and his act ends with a funny account of an email exchange after appearing on a TV programme. Quite a lot of f***s and c***s in that account, but it added to the ridiculousness of the material.
Nick Doody was our second comic, and he started his act with an awful lot of c*** words. One knows that “less is sometimes more”; this was a very good example of how more can be very much less. We thought his act started very slowly, which was odd as I remember him being excellent throughout when we saw him last time. For some reason he didn’t tap into the general mood. However, as the old cliche would have it, it was a game of two halves; for his final fifteen minutes or so were brilliant, ending up with a nightmare account of how Margaret Thatcher is still held in high esteem in some circles, which was very telling and hard-hitting; and with which he completely redeemed himself in my eyes.
Our final act was Ian Moore, and he was just superb. He didn’t have to put on any persona, he didn’t have to swear a lot, he didn’t run round maniacally. He just relied on really funny original material that covered the kind of situations we can all recognise – and as a result he had the audience in the palm of his hand. Highlights that I can remember include fresh observations of travelling Ryanair; environmentally friendly light bulbs; and the enmity between brothers of different nationalities. Absolutely brilliant stuff. Best act we’ve seen at Screaming Blue Murder for a long time.
I ended up having a little chat to Dan again after the show about how it went. I think I’m becoming his customer liaison representative; or a counsellor. There could be some money in this.