This repost was published in hindsight, on 18 March 2019.
Matt R wrote:
Well it would have were you there. I hope.
Sunday came and went and left me with the greatest buzz I think I’ve ever felt. I’m loving this comedy lark. I was terrified of the performance right up until the end of my first set and then I started to relax into it. Things started to fit and I let my material flow more than I probably should have in that I abandoned what I’d worked out of my script and left much of it up to the audience. It certainly paid off that night because the audience were spectacular. They deserve the most credit for the night as they came along wanting to laugh but best of all was their forgiveness. They would sit listening with the attitude “OK, that didn’t make me luagh but maybe the next one will”. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen that sort of generosity from an audience before.
The performances went well and Dave was better than I thought he would be (don’t misread me, I thought he was going to do well and he did marvellously). He’d rehersed his stuff well and thought it through and the closest I can come to a criticism was when he talked through the laughter, but that has to be balanced against his angry man ‘character’ and starting and stopping that can remind the audience that they’re watching a rehersed, rather than spontaneous, performance. Absolute Kudos to the man for not being phased by a joke that didn’t go as well as he’d hoped. I think it’s still got potential if it has a bit more set-up and is moved a little later in the set so the audience is more in tune with his character.
The ‘winner’ of the night was Adrian O’Toole who really was very good. He kept the audience laughing with his festival experiences and paused in the right places, had his call-backs to earlier jokes, spoke to the crowds experiences, called in his own without alienating them. He was very very good, especially considering he had only got up as part of a Gorman/Wallace style challenge system. You phone the man, set him a challenge and he’ll try it. When we told him afterwards that he was kind of expected to perform at the next comedy night he was very despondent. “But I’ve had twenty years to come up with this material” and that was exactly how I felt after my first show. I didn’t know how I’d ever be able to come up with anything else. I hope he carries on trying because he was a delight to watch.
Big shout out to Scatman Dan who’s review and expansion on what other people had done was fresh and exciting, definitely the sort of thing that we’ve been looking for — anything that goes against normal comedy boundries and pushes things in a new direction. Refering to other comics in your act is at least tabboo and at worst shunned and disparaged. I see both sides of the argument but if it’s done in a respectful manner I don’t see too much of a problem with it. If it’s not… well… I think that anyone who would do it without being respectful should be condemned to a red coat forever. Dan, of course, was nothing but respectful and I’d like to see him back, especially with some of (forgive the expression and please take no inference from it) his own stuff. I especially liked his explanation of the second war in Iraq.
There was a guy videoing it and I’ll let you know how that turns out. I really want to see it to find out where I went wrong (getting more and more Ducth Couraged on stage may have been one of them) and what bits worked better than I thought. Don’t worry Mum, I’ll send you a copy too.
Not quite finally I’ll be performing again (possibly MCing) at Yr Undeb on Tuesday. No, this is not the professional comedy nights that Steve-o runs but it is for RAG week and so please come along to support a well deserving charity case… and RAG! BOOM BOOM! No. There’ll be about five of us doing comedy and I really don’t know much about what else is going on that night but it should be good, and if not at least it’s for a good cause.
Finally I’m quite worried that I’m only funny when playing to a small crowd of Aberystwyth students who, if they don’t know me, at least know of me.