Sausage Time

On Tuesday night I went to the Hammersmith Apollo to review Harry Hill’s new stand-up Sausage Time.

I took my friend Annabel Jewers as a +1, who thought (as did I) that we would just be watching the show. Collecting our press tickets, we were also handed after party wristbands…We weren’t just watching the show, we were going to be meeting the voice of You’ve been Framed himself.

Sadly this was after we had endured his two-hour show. Yes, endured. It was not good. And meeting a comedian who has failed to make you laugh, is rather less exciting than meeting one who had fulfilled their job prescription. Here is my review:

Sausage Time at the Hammersmith Apollo

Harry Hill is the equivalent of flares to fashion: not yet ready for a comeback. This, however, is exactly what the voice of You’ve been Framed has done; he’s come back with new stand-up show Sausage Time.

Hill is best known for his ITV show Harry Hill’s TV Burp, but after 11 years the award-winning series was cancelled in 2012 to allow “the comic to pursue other projects.” Judging the audience’s reception of last night’s performance, Hill should have kept hold of that contract.

Sausage Time (Hill’s first stand-up show since 2005) is ill-conceived, tatty and most disastrously, not laugh out loud funny. The show doesn’t look prepared; it’s like Hill has decided on a few jokes, jotted them down on a piece of paper and had the cockiness to just wing it. Jokes were repeated, pauses were, at times, too lengthy and interactions with members of the front row were strained. At one point – so desperate for laughs – Hill chucked a bucket of water over his head. This is stand-up, not ChuckleVision.

High points of the show (there weren’t many) included a speedy monologue on the human constitution and a witty metaphor on immigration: “At least Parrots bothered to learn the language.” Sadly these peaks of humour were short-lived and the audience were soon drawn back into Hill’s unfunny fray.

Harry Hill is a household name and Hill knows it. The comedian has used his TV reputation to make a quick bit of cash on tour, without caring if people find him funny or not, after all at £33.50 a ticket he’s had the last laugh. Though on top of some serious platform shoes, Hill is not on top of his game, and Sausage Time is not worth forking out for.

Verdict: *    http://www.theupcoming.co.uk/2013/03/27/comedy-review-harry-hill-sausage-time/

Upstairs in the private party, he wandered around with a flat cap on. We got his attention and I asked him:

“What made you decide to give up Medicine and pursue comedy?”

He replied: “Because I wanted to.”

Charming! So we got a photo each and left.

annie and harry

Annie and Harry

alice and harryAlice and Harry

A-U-D-L-E-Y born 15th of Februai…

It seems like yesterday that I was sitting on the veranda at my Kenyan friend’s house celebrating turning 23. But it wasn’t yesterday, it was 365 days ago and tomorrow I will turn 24.

After thinking about last year, I started thinking about the year before and the year before and the year before that and ended up on quite the nostalgic voyage. Thinking then turned to searching; searching my father’s study for old photos. Ah the pre-digital age, when all developed photos, no matter how bad they were, were neatly put into binders.

A michelin-man lookalike baby, things improved as I learnt how to walk and was weaned off what must have been steroid milk. ‘Ah I was quite sweet, what were my siblings talking about’…I thought as I leafed through the fifth family album. But then, then I found this:

ImageAnd my brother’s reaction to this:Image“Shocker!”

I’m not going to be taking another trip down memory lane for a while, and am never letting my mother pick out an outfit for me again!

St Valentine’s Day

VdAY

The most depressing day of the year? The day that makes you feel like a romantic failure? The day that, irrespective of the proper code of conduct, couples commit PDA (public display of affection) everywhere and make you feel like sticking your head into the oven. What other day could it be, but St Valentine’s Day?

But does Valentine’s day really make the single person feel like a sad anomaly of the human race? Does every single person want to pull a Sylvia Plath on the 14th? Does the lack of heart-shaped boxes of chocolates littering the bed provide the emotional rope to hang ourselves? To just give up, to call it a day, to retire to a life of spinsterhood; perhaps in a cottage in the country with cats and ample DVD box sets?

This Valentine’s Day will be my 5th as a singleton; the equivalent (in time) of my senior school. Half a decade. 1,827 days (two leap years).

Blimey, 1,827 days, that really does sound like a long time. Perhaps I should be worrying…No, I am not worrying. I resent being emotionally coerced by society to feel inferior; to feel like I am not as happy, not as loved as the masses flocking to Clinton Cards shelling out wads of cash for over-sized teddy bears. I am single and I am happy.

There are a lot of people  who are rather disdainful of the single girl. Not given the same kudos as the bachelor, society sees the single girl as something be worried about. A loose end, a spanner in the works, a nuisance. A dinner party nightmare. A Bridget Jones.

We are obsessed with pairing. A woman can’t be truly happy without a man and a man can’t be truly happy without a woman. Two hundred years have passed since Austen crafted that sentence – ” It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” Take money out of the equation (or don’t) and you’re still left with a single man wanting a wife – and a woman wanting to be married by said single man.

Considering what has been written, you might not believe me when I say that I am not opposed to romance. Heart-shaped boxes of chocolates – sounds good to me, who doesn’t like chocolate? No, it’s not the gestures that I have an issue with, what I have an issue with is being told when to be romantic and with companies spreading love-phlegm across the nation which results in many  being made to feel like an inferior specimen of the populace for not having an other half.

Last year I went to an all girls single’s night in Nairobi. I caved into society and thought that I should find shelter with the other spinsters of the world. This year, I am fighting back. I am single and I am not ashamed. I will go out to supper, because I want to go out to supper and I’ll go out to supper by myself.

Alan Davies breaks the sabbatical and returns to the stand-up stage…

A recent stranger to the stand-up stage, Alan Davies has returned from his decade-long sabbatical with new gig Life is Pain. Our favourite QI star was met by the whistles and wails of delighted fans as he sauntered onto the Hackney Empire’s stage last night. He did not disappoint.

Covering the seven stages of man, Davies’ performance had the subterranean structure of Shakespeare’s “All the world’s a stage”. Infancy, childhood, university years (lover), breaking into acting (soldier), fatherhood, his own father (justice) and his Parkinson-stricken grandfather (sans everything) were intertwined in a routine that, as its title suggested, covered all of life.

In a Benjamin Button-esque turn-around, Davies’ performance got off to a slow start, but progressively gained both energy and rhythm. By the second half he was unstoppable. Stilted interactions with the audience and lukewarm anecdotes about his school uniform, an eclipse and lesbian drama students were replaced with a brilliant skit on the modern-day telephone user, the obsession with plastic surgery sweeping the nation and most notably, a side-stitching interpretation of what babies would actually be saying if their screams could be translated.

For the rest of the review go to:

http://www.theupcoming.co.uk/2012/11/13/comedy-review-alan-davies-life-is-pain/

Comedian Daniel Sloss – The Show

With our heart rates just about back to a healthy resting rate (after the steamy erotic book club the night before), Jamie and I took to London town for yet another adventure.

As many of you might note by now, I am an aspiring writer – books, plays, short stories, articles – I love it all. Unfortunately, I am not a rare breed. Despite having a degree in English and a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism, despite even doing Shorthand classes on Wednesdays from 6 – 9pm – getting hired has proved nigh impossible.

The Journalism trade is changing out of recognition; the print media is on its way to extinction…apps, kindles, ipads are everywhere, news is everywhere – we’re always connected. Why pay someone to travel to Thailand, when you can just get someone who is already out there to write for you?

With this change comes a healthy dose of rejection. How many covering letters, applications and CVs can you send out, before the self-doubt starts to sink in – can you really write? Are you deluded? Are you the literary equivalent to the thousands of horrendous X Factor applicants – have you been praised by family and friends to the extent where your vision of what makes good writing has become so warped that you actually think that your ramblings are the stuff of Booker Prize awards?

These were where my thoughts were running away to last week. I was pretty miserable. The one thing that I had always wanted to do, the one thing that everyone had always said I would make it as – and there I was not making it.

It was at the end of my fifth melancholy hour that my gmail flashed up. An inbox message! Probably the Milkground graduate jobs or Gorkana – yes lets remind Alice how many jobs there are still left to be rejected from. But, it wasn’t. No, as I delicately clicked the mouse, to open what I presumed to be a ‘sorry but your application for the role of (too many to list) has been unsuccessful,’ I read the words that I’ve been waiting my whole life to read:

‘We would love you to write for us.’

SUCCESS!

So now, my friends, you aren’t just looking at The Editor of The Audley Chronicle – you are looking at Culture Writer for THE UPCOMING!

– Which brings me back to last night, the streets of London and Jamie (and another friend called Ben). We were on our way to my first review – that of 22-year old Scottish Comedian Daniel Sloss. So, I leave you here – I must get back to my notes, I have a deadline to meet – a real writers’ deadline!

I’ll post the link to the review later today. Until then, I leave you with some photos of the Sloss and supporting act Kai Humphries – taken after the gig.

Xx

 LINK: http://www.theupcoming.co.uk/2012/10/30/comedy-review-daniel-sloss-at-the-bloomsbury-theatre/

Myself and Daniel Sloss (above)

Myself and Kai Humphries (below)