Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Leicester Comedy Festival @ Curve

The cities 18th annual comedy festival has been in full swing for the last fortnight in various venues including the Curve where I was lucky enough to see three out of the hundreds of shows at this year’s festival.

To kick start my trio of comedy nights, I saw the unbelievable Beating Berlusconi show on Thursday, February 10.

Taking a Liverpool football fans tale and turning it into a comedy drama for stage is exactly what playwright John Graham Davies after hearing a cobbler’s story from the 2005 Liverpool championship final.

Speaking to the cobbler, Mark Radley, in January he told me the show brings out the fan in all of us and he certainly wasn’t wrong.

Living with a fella who’s mad on Liverpool I knew it’d be something he’d love and he came away wanting to put the DVD of the actual game on as soon as we got home!

The show is played out by Paul Duckworth who has an amazing talent to portray over 40 characters in the 90-minute show.

I was completely hooked into the whole drama of one young boy’s life as a footy mad fan that grew up to see his team win the European Championships despite risking his married life for the trip!

If the show returns it’s a must watch for any football fan but I think especially if you’re a red!
My second comedy jewel was the wonderfully quirky Sarah Millican on Friday, February 11.

Her random tales of shopping for baby denims and tales of being a woman were woven with audience participation.

Asking the audience questions is always going to dampen or enhance a show but luckily for Sarah we have some very odd characters in Leicester so this led to some very strange but funny antidotes!

There were similar moments on Saturday, February 12, during Milton Jones’ show when he invited the audience to join in.

Sarah’s jokes were understood by all the females in the audiences but the men were left occasionally on the side lines when it came to the intimate female innuendos.

Sarah’s Chatterbox tour continues and she hopes to be back in Leicester in the Autumn so watch out for dates and tickets!

Saturday’s comedy show with Milton was an odd ball mix of one-liners and a visit from his Grandad in the warm-up!

His other warm-up act was Kettering-born Jamie Acastor whose confident performance was refreshing in such a young comedian.

There was a moment were an unsuspecting audience member who’d just returned from the toilet was invited on stage. The consequence of his small bladder meant he was in for some ridicule!

When Milton came on to do the main act the show seemed quite fragmented because the two have a very different comedy style.

Milton’s zany look and wild eyes just made his show even more comical. And his one-liners were quick paced and often linked to other jokes later in the night which gave the audience a sense of knowing.

Here is a list of Leicester Comedy Festival shows coming up at Curve in the next fortnight:
Mark Steel
Ceri Dupree is Blonde for Danger
Comedy Heaven with Arthur Smith
Gandhi and Coconuts
LOL (Lots of Love)

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