Every now and again I see a show I know little about. Tonight I was expecting some 1950's rock and roll style music and tales of gruesome events. That was virtually all I needed to know as I walked into the venue and was immediately transported into a mid-West diner with a band perfectly re-creating the 1950's sound.
We soon meet Mary, our host for the evening to explain the events leading to her blood-spattered state joint we were now locked in. This show is not for the faint-hearted as we hear about her molestation as a child, see her beaten up, not to mention a variety of bloody murders.
So, as the oldest kid in the entire audience my family members and I sat down and I wondered why it looked nothing like Swamp Juice, the set laid out in a different way... my already heightened excitement now growing to girlish glee. I don't want to reveal what happened when the lights went out! Being in an audience full of children it just made me realise how much fun they were about to have never having no doubt seen anything like it outside of a bunch of people dancing and creating shadows on TV. Sadly Mr Achtem will never get the mainstream acknowledgement he deserves but it is us lucky few that appreciate the work he puts forth that will spur him on to still be writing new adventures for hopefully years to come.
The Story is simple, and I'm allowed to give the premise of the play because he does so via his teaser on Youtube. To quote Mr Achtem, it’s a story about a boy… in a box… in space. I’m not revealing more because the story is new and so are the characters. But what you don’t expect is the same feeling of wonder the second time around. I had already seen Swamp Juice and was absolutely staggered by the sheer patience he must have had to create something so hauntingly beautiful, and I’m pleased to report that he doesn’t disappoint this time around either.
A few minor niggles, having personally adored the music throughout Swamp Juice, it was a little disappointing that there was no band playing along with the beautifully crafted story. There was pre-recorded music and one hopes that come Edinburgh he will have a full ensemble and the bits where he had classical pieces he will have his own band playing stuff that people have never heard before. It’s only a minor niggle but one that makes me envious of those that will see the show in Edinburgh more than the actual show itself!
If August is the month when comedy fans head to the Edinburgh festival (we are told that other forms
of entertainment are available) then July is when comedians stage the last of their gigs to try out any
new material. The Cardiff comedy festival takes full advantage and previews can be seen throughout
Starting the ball rolling was Lloyd Langford with "Galoot", apparently someone who is strange or foolish
which perfectly describes Langford's strange appearance (see picture on right!)
Immediately the audience starts laughing and doesn't stop throughout the set. We discover why he
hates Jessie J (I'm sure you will too by the end, he is very persuasive), hear about other idiotic events
and and why he has decided to take more chances with his life.
This is gentle humour although occcasionally he does unsettle you with an unexepectedly caustic
remark. After building up the show well he slightly falters at the end with a sexual anecdote
I don't think fits into this particular show.
As he himself stressed this is work in progress so there is plenty if time to tighten this material before Edinburgh. Even so, this is still a highly enjoyable hour in its present form and can only get better.
So, if you get a chance to see Lloyd Langford on tour ,go.
If you get a chance to see Lloyd Langford in Edinburgh, go.
If you get a chance to see any other preview shows (generally a lot cheaper than the finished product) go.
You won't be sorry.
Lloyd Langford: Galoot is at The Gilded Balloon Teviot daily from 1-26 August (not 12th or 19th)
A lot of modern comedy is anecdotal and can be quite bland. Tonight, however, I felt I was in the presence of an unusual personality who wasn’t worried about portraying herself in a less than favourable light. Funny, and once tighter the show will undoubtedly will improve by next month.
Head to Laughing Horse at the Counting House in Edinburgh and you won’t be disappointed. (And amazingly it’s free).
Nat Luurtsema: Here She Be is on daily at The Counting House from August 2nd
sheer brilliance. There is a lot (perhaps too much) music but their parodies of David Bowie's "Starman" and Michael Jackson's " Earth Song" (apparently his biggest hit, which I thought was Billie Jean) caused hysteria with DARKCHAT David and Anne (the latter hasn't stopped singing the former's song about a group of birds ever since).
The first 2013 DARKCHAT meeting after the show caused a heated debate. One member called it "dull and boring" whilst two revelled in the 2 highspots. There is obviously plenty of work to be done but if they can tighten some of the more self-indulgent moments this can be another triumph for The Scottish Falsetto Sock Company.
Originally this Edinburgh preview should have featured Nick Helm. Sickness meant
he was unable to attend and he was replaced by Joe Lycett. I suggest they couldn't
have found a more opposite comedian if they had tried.
Whilst Helm is noisy, hairy, sweaty and in your face Lycett is calm, collected and
friendliness personified. Most Edinburgh shows have to have a pun title but for once
" If Joe Lycett Then You Should've Put a Ring On It" actually fits the bill.
This is a series of stories about how his life has changed by wearing a "Walrus ring"
after being advised to harness his inner animal. Armed with this alter ego he has
turned into a serial complainer (when justified) by email. Some of these tales are
hysterical especially when large organisations get the joke and join in the fun. (Who
knew employees of the Sun had a sense of humour).
We are bordering on Tom Wrigglesworth campaigning territory here but Joe Lycett's indidivuality shines through and we can see why he has been nominated for Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer 2012.
This is still work in progress in readiness for next month's festival but on this evidence he is definitely worth finding a place in your schedule for. If you're looking for him he'll be the one wearing the Walrus ring and driving the cream Yaris.
If Joe Lycett Then You Should Have Put a Ring On It runs daily at Pleasance Courtyard from 31st July