Thursday, 26 February 2009

UK Comedy Observations pt.4

On to part four. As the symbol for "four" means death in Chinese I shall be careful not to tread on the tiger's tail.

The Comedy Box is located in Bedminster, a southern adjunctive morsel of Bristol. It is a 5 minute walk along Raleigh Rd past the Tobacco Factory theatre. On the way Tom had to stop for cigarettes and as we waited in line in the shop we were accosted by dishevellant man we had passed a moment ago who had been mumbling summat' about Britney Spears. Soon into his accostations, it became evident that he had been practicing his "crazy man" script as he sat by the road. It was an abstract rambling that related a dream of Britney Spears offering him her shoe. He was exceedingly pleased that I wasn't afraid and actually volunteered comments - we were privileged to have witnessed one of his first performances. It was a little staged and ragged around the edges but it made me want to pat him encouragingly on the back like a child who'd just scraped out something on the violin.

We arrive at "the Box" which is located overtop a very casual and inviting student'y pub, the Hen and Chicken, good for a pint and a pizza. We were met by Steve Lount who was very accommodating and had a palpable enthusiasm for comedy, which is always a good sign. The room itself was most certainly a box, p'raps 25' x 55' with comedians posters decorating the walls with their blaring sameness. The room also had a moderate ceiling and no pillars so sightlines were perfect and at a glance, the sound system looked more than ample. The bar itself was set like a hole in the wall toward the back of the room and was announced only by those crowded in front. No neon beer signs, no glass-washer,in fact I don't remember even seeing a till.

This was my Brit-debut as an m.c. -- also known as a host and, in Blighty, a compere, which sounds to my ear, more like a dessert than a ringmaster. The same format I had observed in

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