Now it’s time for our second visit to the show that we think about all year round. It’s Spank! hosted by the irrepressibly brilliant Abigoliah Schamaun and the amazingly wonderful James Loveridge at Belly Dancer @ Underbelly, Cowgate, at midnight on the night of Wednesday 23rd. 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!”
This will be the first time we’ve seen a Spank on a Wednesday night, but it always gets a great crowd no matter which night you go. Check back around 3am (or maybe early on Thursday 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.
Tonight’s Spank (you love it) was hosted by regular James, and from Monday night, Eleanor. Eight excellent acts included Sister Mary Macarthur doing songs from the shows, Ross and Josh interviewing a T-Rex, Archie Maddocks doing some brilliant material, Robin Boot, whom we had seen earlier in the year in Northampton, giving is his musical comedy, and the very funny Mark Nelson whom some of the audience didn’t like at all. But I did!!
I’ve discovered a new (to me at least) fixture on the local comedy circuit – the Bluelight Comedy Magic show, which has been going for some time but last night had their first outing at the rather swish and showy Borjia bar in Northampton. All proceeds from the evening went to Rape Crisis to support their important work (and I won a very fine looking bottle of champagne in the raffle into the bargain!)
Mrs Chrisparkle and I, along with Lord and Lady Prosecco, Prinz Markus von Köln (second in line to the Prosecco family estate) and our hosts for the evening Mr and Mrs Jolly-Japester, took our specially reserved seats across the front row. Not quite sure how we scored that, but I’m not complaining. I think we were five on a bench for three, so only a small portion of my posterior felt the pleasure of the padding, but three pints of Asahi made up for that.
Our MC for the evening, and the man behind the Bluelight, although I think he’s now chucked in the blue light for full time comedy and magic, was The Trixta (aka Ashley), who kept everything going at a cracking pace but also left us plenty of time to get our glasses charged – always a vital element of any comedy night.
First up, and all the way from Las Vegas – I kid you not – was the fantastic magician Chris Randall. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such extraordinary magic at really close quarters and yet not have a clue as to how he did what he did; but then I am a sucker for magic. Mrs C always pooh-poohs it as some inferior kind of entertainment until she actually sees it, and then her jaw drops just as far anyone else’s. The thing is, one always itches to know how someone performs a magic trick, but I am so glad that I don’t know how magic works, because if I did, it wouldn’t be magic anymore; so don’t tell me!
Mr Randall did a trick with what appeared to be dental floss, pushing it up into his neck so that it apparently went right through the skin; and when he pulled at either end of it, the skin either side of his neck got pulled out too! Made me feel quite queasy but it’s an amazing illusion. He procured two £20 notes from members of the public (including Lord Prosecco) who wrote their names on the notes and which he then made disappear, only to reappear sometime later trapped inside a satsuma! He got me out of the audience and performed a trick where torn bits of paper were strangely re-assembled to create a hat, but what particularly impressed me was that whilst I was onstage with him, he managed to get my watch off me and put it on his own wrist without my noticing. Mrs C is right – I am so unobservant. He did plenty more tricks besides, including ending up with an extraordinary display of cardsharpery. He’s one helluva magician.
After a break, we next met Robin Boot, armed and extremely dangerous with his guitar and he’s not afraid to use it. If I tell you that, for his opening gambit, he sang – to the tune of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”, Toe of the Camel, I think you’ll get his general drift. That song will never be the same again. He’s a really funny guy who blends ridiculous and reasonably filthy humour with his disarmingly enjoyable guitar work to great comic effect. He also achieves a great rapport with the audience and we all loved him. Mr Jolly-Japester was required to exercise his dong during his act. You had to be there.
Our headline act for the evening was comic Dan Nightingale. One of those gifted guys who makes it all look so easy, he kept us laughing our socks off for ages. Whether it was about being a Mancunian, with all that accent entails, or being a young father with all that sleeplessness that entails, or having a wife that deleted your only tv appearance off the skybox, with all the resentment that entails, his great material just kept coming and coming. He’s a very likeable guy with effortless style and again, he really went down well with the whole room.
At only £10 that was fantastic value for money and also hopefully raised bucketloads for Rape Crisis. Apparently, the next show will be in June, so keep an eye on their Facebook page for further details. Brilliant fun, can’t wait for next time! (P.S. You don’t have to look too hard to spot Mrs C and me on this photo!)