Review – The Comedy Crate at the Black Prince Pub, Northampton, 15th July 2021

Comedy CrateThose lovely comedy lovers at the Comedy Crate had already resumed residence in the back garden of the Black Prince a few weeks ago, but this was the first show that we’d been able to catch – and my first non-Zoom comedy gig since their show last October. Such are the ways of the pandemic. The line-up had unavoidably changed a bit between being first announced and the show on the night, but that’s often the way with live gigs!

Jenny CollierOur MC for the night was Jenny Collier, whom we last saw on one of the Comedy Crate’s online gigs earlier this year. She’s a sparky presence, with her charming appearance and cut-glass accent acting as a great juxtaposition to some ribald language. She’s been working as a GP receptionist for some of these Covid times, which was a source of some excellent material. However, I most enjoyed her account of giving a – I can’t dress this up in any other way – stool sample for the medics to explore. We were an occasionally unruly crowd, so she had a lot on her plate for the evening, but she was great fun and kept the show going at a great pace.

Olaf Falafel Our first act, and one of my all-time favourite comedians, was Olaf Falafel, whom we’ve seen many times in Edinburgh. In his trademark stripy blue sailor’s shirt, which makes him look like an extra from There is Nothing Like a Dame, he attacked us with some brilliant material, playing off the crowd beautifully, and ending up with his famous biscuitology routine. His comedy is a wonderful mixture of the absurd and the childish, but with lots of devastatingly clever observations and woefully funny puns. Great to see him again.

Toussaint DouglassNext up, and new to us, was Toussaint Douglass; a naturally funny guy with a very relaxed style but with some strong punchy material full of surprises, including some challenging stuff about race. A very likeable personality, with some nice self-deprecating observations, he struck up an excellent rapport with the audience. Very enjoyable, and someone to look forward to seeing again!

Tony LawFor our headline act we had the rather wacky and unpredictable Tony Law, whom we’ve seen a few times before and sometimes he goes down a storm, and sometimes he doesn’t! I very much liked his use of accents in his act, and he’s supremely confident with dealing with the crowd; you either “get” his flights of fancy or you don’t and, personally, on the whole, I don’t! But the majority of the audience did, so I admit it’s my problem not his!

There’s another Comedy Crate in the garden of the Black Prince on Thursday 19th August. We’re going, are you?

The Edinburgh Fringe One-Weeker 2019 – Olaf Falafel Presents Knitting with Maracas, 22nd August 2019

Olaf Falafel Presents Knitting With MaracasOne of the highlights of last year’s trip to the Fringe was Olaf Falafel’s There’s No I in Idiot show, so it was a no-brainer that we should see him again this year. Here’s Olaf Falafel Presents Knitting with Maracas at The Main Room @ Laughing Horse @ The Pear Tree, at 14:50 on Thursday 22nd. Here’s the blurb says: “Critically acclaimed idiot Olaf Falafel is back once again like a renegade master. If you’ve been to any of his previous shows, you’ll know exactly what to expect – inventive jokes and stupid comedic leftfieldery all held together with the flimsiest of narrative structures. ‘Absurdity so well-crafted that silly doesn’t do it justice’ (Evening Standard). ‘A wonderful hour of professional silliness’ (List). ‘A barrage of absurdist humour and sharp one-liners’ (EdFringeReview.com). ‘Olaf Falafel is an idiot, and wouldn’t have it any other way’ (Steve Bennett, Chortle.co.uk). ‘Refreshingly odd’ (iNews.co.uk).”

I know this is going to be a complete delight. Check back just after 4 pm to see just how entertaining he was. By then the next preview blog should be available to read too.

As suspected, Mr Falafel is on top form again! Winner of the best joke award, although I thought the one about the prostate check was even funnier. Yes, of course, we got roped into the action, but it’s always terrific fun and incredibly good natured. A must see.

The Edinburgh Fringe One-Weeker 2018 – Olaf Falafel – There’s no I in idiot, 21st August 2018

Olaf FalafelOlaf Falafel was a guest on one of the Spank! shows we saw last year and he was absolutely hilarious – a Viking with no sense of personal boundaries. So our next show is Olaf Falafel – There’s no i in idiot at The Main Room @ Laughing Horse @ The Pear Tree, at 12:15 on Tuesday 21st. Here’s the blurb says: “Critically acclaimed idiot Olaf Falafel is back with another hour of inventive jokes, audience participation and the very loosest of themes. You’ll laugh, you’ll be confused, you’ll enjoy most of it. ‘A wonderful hour of professional silliness’ (List). ‘A barrage of absurdist humour and sharp one-liners’ (EdFringeReview.com). ‘Olaf Falafel is an idiot, and wouldn’t have it any other way’ (Steve Bennett, Chortle.co.uk). ‘Refreshingly odd’ (iNews.co.uk).

If he’s as good over an hour as he is over twenty minutes we’re in for a total treat. Check back around 1.30 pm to see just how entertaining he was. By then the next preview blog should be available to read too.

Olaf’s beautifully constructed hour of fanciful and inventive fun! Sat in the front row and so got involved, but nothing threatening! Really enjoyed it and would heartily recommend!

The Edinburgh Fringe One-Weeker 2017 – Spank! 21st August 2017

SpankNow it’s time for the show that we look forward to the whole year round. It’s the irrepressibly brilliant Abigoliah Schamaun and the amazingly wonderful James Loveridge hosting Spank! at Belly Dancer @ Underbelly, Cowgate, at midnight on the night of Monday 21st. Here’s the blurb: “Spank! returns for an incredible 14th year with sexy hosts, awesome comedians and gratuitous nudity. With the most exciting comedy and cabaret on the Fringe, don’t miss the ‘best wild night out’ (Scotland on Sunday) at the festival!”

Abigoliah SchaumaunThis will be our first of three visits this week, and for this first one we hope to be accompanied by our friends Lord Liverpool and the Countess of Cockfosters and their entourage. Check back around 3am (or maybe early on Tuesday morning) to see who were the guests, who got naked and how much fun we had. By then the next preview blog should be available to read too.

So to my surprise the hosts were Danny O’Brien and Eleanor Conway – and they were great. We had an amazing nine acts, including The Establishment, Saskia Preston, Olaf Falafel, Danny McLaughlin and Sean Patton. The naked promo was by a doctor promoting the Anthony Nolan trust. We think we may have seen him before. All in all an amazing show, and we didn’t get back to the hotel till 3am.