Yet again the Underground was full for the most recent Screaming Blue Murder, the best value comedy you can get for £13.50 (£12.50 with your R&D Friends’ Membership). They’re keeping the curved front rows which means you can get more people in nearer the front, which improves the atmosphere and gives the performers more options where it comes to interrogating the customers.
Dan Evans was our host as usual, with his apparently effortless ability to make us laugh at our fellow comedy night devotees, although I’m sure it’s not really effortless. Early on, he caught a front row lady checking her watch, which was a massive fillip for his self-confidence as you can imagine. He wasn’t going to let her get away with that. Turns out she is the co-author of “Never Mind the Thigh Gap” which enabled Dan to get further embroiled in his own body image issues. Begging forgiveness that he might not have enough new material (he needn’t have worried, as he was on fire) he eluded to this very blog, gentle reader, although he fell short of pointing dramatically at me and declaiming “J’accuse!” Being outed like that is always a sticky moment though.
Our first act was David Morgan, whom we have seen before and who is always highly entertaining to watch. Much of his humour is based on his being gay and comparing straight and gay lifestyles, which, last time we saw him, really got the crowd on his side. This time, however, I felt we were a little more reserved in our responses towards him. Nevertheless, he had some lovely banter with the Netflix and Chill man in the front row and also delivered some great material about having babies. A little frantic at times, but that’s hardly a crime.
Next up, and a change to the advertised programme, was Harriet Kemsley, who was new to us, with an engaging stage persona and some absolutely excellent original material. Unfortunately, the sound coming off the microphone gave her voice a harsh, rasping edge, but she was so good that after a while we could ignore it. We really enjoyed her tales about being engaged, although the man in the audience who proposed to his girlfriend in a French chateau put us all to shame; and amongst her other material there was a refreshing take on the Kardashians to boot. All in all, excellent and we’d happily see her again.
Our final act of the evening is the unrepentantly direct son of a preacher man, Markus Birdman, whom we have seen several times and is always a complete joy. He’s just so irrepressibly mischievous; you can never tell which way he’s going to go. This time he spent most of his act telling us what he wasn’t going to do – thereby doing it, without doing it, if you get my drift. One of his high points this time was when he pretended to a high level of political correctness before going straight into a line about two lezzas (his words) from which he extricates himself beautifully. Intelligent, unpredictable, dangerous and always extremely funny. One of the best guys on the circuit.
Four weeks till the next Screaming Blue Murder which I will be attending without Mrs Chrisparkle, as she will be accompanying Lady Duncansby to see Lee Nelson in the Derngate whilst I am with Lady D’s butler Sir William (plus many others) on his stag night. I predict a riot.