[Editor’s note: sorry for the late write up. It has been an emotional time.]
Crivens what a show! Comedy promotion is a thing of many moving parts, and for this one all those moving parts collided, in mid air, triumphantly.
We’re getting closer each month to what the night looks like in our head: thanks so much to our acts, audience and assorted helpers for making this thing happen.
Any artistic event is a tiny miracle, for doing nothing is SO MUCH EASIER. I am no scientist but that’s why ENTROPY is a thing. Right?
Anyway. I’m James and here’s my extremely subjective, extremely foggy recollection of what happened at FI #8: 2 Factually Inaccurate 2 Furious.
We started on time. We had booked many acts, so this is important. We had the initial usual terrors about the projector working. We have decided to invest in a clicker that has a range beyond that of two cans connected by a piece of string. Hopefully that will help on future nights.
I was on first.
I decided to host in character, to save me the awkwardness of introducing myself. Jamie, our tech dude, kindly bought me a glass of wine to bring on stage with me after I explained “that’s what my character drinks”.
He was called Randy Montgomery, and he was a disgraced former Choose Your Own Adventure novelist. I notice you’re focussing on the word “disgraced”.
The conceit was to present the entire evening as being a series of narrative choices entirely in the audience’s hands – this was, of course, untrue. But thankfully the first guy I picked on chose CORRECTLY, and things were smooth-ish sailing from then on.
The character worked pretty well. I’m getting a lot better at timing, which, I am led to understand, is a key element of “comedy”.
Our first act was Sam Nicoresti, or, as I should have introduced him, the distinguished American astronomer and popular science explainer Carl Sagan. Carl had enormous ears, an accent that was by turns transatlantic and transcendental, and some very funny material about the universe and our place in it.
Sam correctly identified Factually Inaccurate as the correct place to try out this kind of material: I look forward to seeing it, and him, again.
Next up was Ada Player. I have no idea whether this is the perfect comedy pseudonym or her actual name. Either way, it suits her style to a tee.
Ada played an incompetent zombie survivalist. For the first few minutes, there was a frisson in the room, as though the audience couldn’t quite work out whether this was a joke or whether there had actually been an undead apocalypse and Ada was simply offering useful advice.
Player inhabited her character fully, had the physical presence to own all aspects of the stage, and was very funny. We’d like to have her back!
Next up was my co-producer, the august Maddi Sainsbury.
I am not qualified to comment on her set. Not due to our professional relationship, but because I was buying Sam Nicoresti a drink downstairs while it happened.
This – the buying of the drink, I mean – took a bit longer than anticipated.
“I hope she doesn’t finish early, I need to be back in time to introduce The Awkward Silence”, I said to Sam, as we climbed the stairs of The Miller, as my ears pricked to the booming tones of THE AWKWARD SILENCE.
As in, the two-man sketch act, The Awkward Silence, not an awkward silence.
They were great. I find them difficult to explain without sounding weird or comparing them to vegetables, because they have more layers than an onion. My favourite layer is the noir one; but! They could also be in the hilarious Reichenbach Falls of my dreams.
Time for an interval. A beer. And to think of some new ways for Randy to interact with the audience.
Fortunately one lady has accidentally acquired main character syndrome, due to her claiming to Sagan to be an unlikely fan of nu-metal mavericks Korn. She even told me what her favourite album was.
It was all lies. She had in fact told him that her favourite music was “choral”.
Oh! It’s Joz Norris. Another returning champion.
He is in oversized pants and wearing a preposterous wig.
Remember that trick Stuart Lee used to master? Where you talk about something that doesn’t seem funny but through repetition, subtlety and charm it becomes hilarious?
Joz was like that, but kinder. His bit was about booking holidays, and how annoying it is. But dessicated, dissected, deconstructed. it was lovely.
Isy Suttie arrived during the interval. I asked her if she needed anything. She asked for a lager. I meant in terms of tech, and bought her a lager. She was very lovely.
But before her headline performance was Aruhan Galieva, whose name I was determined to pronounce correctly. After my Suchandrika embarrassment a few months ago. Sorry, Suchandrika.
Galieva is an actor, writer, performer and activist. She is also a fierce environmentalist, and on stage is walking that tightrope of making somethings terrifying – habitat loss and climate breakdown – funny and inclusive.
She had a bit on a flying creature that isn’t an owl, which obviously met with resistance from the Factually Inaccurate ultras, but her funnies and confidence won them over.
Headliner Isy Suttie was, fortunately, the only adventure left for Montgomery, who had run out of gambits.
He could finally relax.
Her set was really excellent, and not at all what I was expecting. My favourite bit was an evocative routine about friendship, car parks and nuclear power stations.
And, suddenly, it was all over. Come see us next month!
Factually Inaccurate returns on Tuesday 10th May. Tickets are available here.
Thanks to Euan, Maddy, Jamie, Nadine, Next Level Sketch, and everyone else who made this night happen.