To paraphrase Forrest Gump – comedy showcases are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get next. In beside the soft centres there’s going to be some harder fare and – sometimes – you’ll find someone has placed a stick of dynamite in there and blown the box to smithereens.
And so it went on the day I went along to Now That’s What I Call Stand-Up #2 when it was an all-female line-up – completely random as it’s five different acts every day. It was a few days ago now but I’m only just recovering! A very impressive standard overall with two outstanding:
First of all – Karen Sage. Imagine if Lily Savage and Ray Winstone had a child and it was raised by Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown. With a ‘sarf London’ accented voice that could peel paint there are also shades of the Mighty Boosh’s Hitcher and – visually – the writer Martina Cole. And like Ms Cole Karen deals with the grittier and grubbier end of life’s rich pageant – from gran’s nether regions to her gay son’s proclivities it’s blow-torch blisteringly funny stuff. Now you have to remember NTWICSU#2 is a lunch-time show so apart from Karen’s loud cackle and a handful of us having a good old laugh the loudest sound was a collection of jaws hitting off the floor. Also thanks Karen for one of my funniest images of the Fringe with you looming over a terrified young couple who had only popped in to share a few moments of luvviedom with one of the earlier acts. I know I shouldn’t laugh at things like that but it was priceless.
How to follow? Well, Callie Beaton did marvelously well. From returning to the singles game to coping with her son’s Asperger’s. She’s frank, breezy, uplifting and genuinely funny with great delivery. I’m only gutted that she’s not doing a full-length show – shame!
There are so many comedy showcases out there but MC Gary Shaw seems to be getting good quality acts as well as pushing the envelope a fair bit – for the time of day. Brave man!
PS I didn’t catch the name of the human whirlwind on the day – so went back on the next to check with Gary who told me Karen Sage. I’ve spent an indecent amount of time searching for Ms Sage online but can’t find anything on her – how can this be? He also told me she appears as part of The Wrong Comedy show but couldn’t find her there either. If you are Karen Sage or can point me in her direction please let me know!
Review for 12 August