Interview with Elena Kombou

Elena Kombou

Comedy Blogedy: How long have you been gigging in stand-up?

Elena Kombou: I started stand up at the end of October 2010, so about one year and two months. It’s something I wanted to do for ages and I started writing material when I was in my teens but was too nervous and too worried that I wouldn’t get any laughs and then that would ruin comedy for me forever so I kept putting it off.  It was going to the Edinburgh Festival last year that gave me the kick I needed to do it.  I enjoyed the festival but wanted to be more than just a member of audience and promised myself that the next year I’d be there as a performer.

Interview with Raoul Malhotra

Image of Raoul MalhotraComedy Blogedy: How long have you been gigging in stand-up?

Raoul Malhotra: My first gig was at school when I was 16 (now I’m 20), but I do stand up quite infrequently so it wouldn’t really be fair to say I’ve done it for four years. I’ve done gigs ranging from crowd sizes of 10 to 200, and have had a great time performing

Comedy Blogedy: How would you describe your comedy?

Raoul Malhotra: You wouldn’t like it if you’re easily offended. My favourite topics tend to be doing racial stuff, and doing impressions of accents, but at the same time I like to broaden my material so there will be some current affairs related political banter too. I’m always a bit paranoid of being a one-trick pony, so I try to find a good balance between intelligent, thought provoking punchlines, and jokes about sex and shit.

Interview with Mikey Bharj

Image of Mikey Bharj

Comedy Blogedy: How long have you been gigging in stand-up?

Mikey Bharj: I’ve been actively gigging for 6 months now, but to be honest I started the stand up comedy game when I was 11. So I spent my teen years performing the occasional comedy gig in proper adult comedy clubs. It was a great experience for me, because I got to meet my favorite comedians and ask them all the advice I wanted.

Comedy Blogedy: How would you describe your comedy?

Mikey Bharj: As a kid I grew up watching a lot of television and films. So over the years I have acquired a variety of popular references and voices I like to bring on stage. So you could say, I make satirical observations about the world. Also oddly enough, I’m half Indian and half Jamaican. So depending on the occasion I will joke about that.

Interview with Patrick Magee

Image of Patrick Magee

Comedy Blogedy: How long have you been gigging in stand-up?

Patrick Magee: Since 2005. My friend Dan was running a room as part of the Sydney Comedy Festival and he asked me if I wanted to have a go. I’d come straight from doing a play and so I was caked in clown make-up and completely unrecognisable. Which was good, because my jokes were absolutely terrible; if memory serves, I had a long routine about a sentient cummerbund that married a tie. I’ve been doing it on and off since then, but I really want to concentrate on it now I’ve moved to London.

Comedy Blogedy: How would you describe your comedy?

Patrick Magee: It’s mainly about things that annoy me. For a long time I wanted to write really killer one-liners and knockout gags, but they always seem to get more of a groan than a laugh. Now I concentrate on taking down those sections of society that really deserve it, like high-spirited children and Noel Faulkner.

Review: Paul Foot, ‘Still Life’, The Bloomsbury Theatre, London

Image of Paul Foot 'Still Life'

“Do not analyse the humour, yield to it!”

If ever there was a quote by Paul Foot that succinctly summarised how an audience is to react to his comedy, it is the above!

In an outfit that resembled one of the students from The Magic Schoolbus meets Shoreditch chic, Malcolm Head provided the support for Paul Foot, dabbling in different forms of poetry, stories and manifestos. Although the detail and creativity of the stories was humorous, Head’s reception seemed more that of an appreciated humour rather than laugh out loud funny, although there were a few moments of strong laughter that provided a gentle appetiser for the treat about to come.

As the second half began, right from the off-stage announcement, Paul Foot took his audience on a journey of unexpected silliness and extraordinarily hilarious humour. As Paul revealed the structure of the show, ironically this was no preparation for the “glimpses”, “nonsense”, and of course, “Penny” extravaganza that was to take place be it on the Bloomsbury Theatre stage or in the stalls.

Review: “I Have Something To Say – An Evening With Matt Fisher”, The Tristan Bates Theatre, London

Joz NorrisArrogant, thinks he’s a hit with the ladies and lacking complete self-awareness – Matt Fisher is one of the most exciting comic character creations on the up-and-coming comedy scene.

Joz Norris, the writer and performer of this one-man show, came on stage in a bright red shirt, a pair of grey jeggings and two pairs of sunglasses that provided an effective visual indication of just how moronic but equally hilarious Matt Fisher is. As soon as the show started, the intentional lack of powerpoint to performer synchronisation and the unique yet confident dance moves that lacked synchronisation with the music sparked off the “night of chat, rock, humour, dance, mime, crime and flirting with Tooting’s foremost neo-pre-Raphaelite” – an ambitious tag line but by the end of the show an accomplished one.

Review: Joe Wilkinson ‘My Mum’s Called Stella & My Dad’s Called Brian’, The Bloomsbury Theatre, London

Image of Joe Wilkinson

The theme music for Joe Wilkinson’s entry was MGMT’s ‘Kids’, a song that seemed to encapsulate his playful opening as, after raising his hands high in the air several times, as is characteristic of him, he jumped down and lovingly hugged individual members of the audience before literally rolling back onto the stage. This opening acted as a somewhat preface to the show as Wilkinson, whilst humouring the audience with a few anecdotes, used this opening to introduce his own support act.

Review: Apocalypso! Hen & Chickens Theatre, London

Apocalypso!

The evening began with the compere Matthew Crosby dabbling in some light banter with a member of the audience who arrived late. Although humorous, his prepared material was a lot stronger, turning his honest confessions into some very good jokes indeed!

The Apocalypso duo, Matt and Stu, came on stage in an outfit that seemed inspired by CSI meets a visit to the London Zoo giftshop headware section. Despite the intimate size of the theatre, each had a microphone switiching from explanations of a supposed Apocalypse to more general topics of stand-up. The whole show centred around “educating the past about the future” up until the year 2042, with many new species, laws and personal “future” experiences recounted. There were lots of props, although very much on the homemade side, but you could tell that a lot of time, thought and effort had gone into the concept of the production.

Review: Abandoman & Friends, Kings Place, London

AbandomanWhat better way to start the Really Lovely Comedy one-off special than an MC who comes on stage and shouts “Let’s tear the shit off the roof!” Naz Osmanoglu bounded on stage with enough energy to power all the electricity in both the Kings Place and the Guardian building next door. Delivering a few bits of material at the beginning of the show about being half-Turkish and half-English, this sparked off his audience interaction upon which all his material centred around each time he came on stage. Picking on one audience member with, and I quote, “I’m sticking with you because you have potential” his inkling was right as the “software developer” was also a part time swing dancer who happily proceeded to get up on his chair with the lady next to him and start to swing dance! But not only does Osmanoglu have a special comic skill, which is to be able to base all the jokes in the show around the audience – and make them funny and clever! – but he ran with each joke with the tone of a sports commentator describing his favourite sports team about to score a goal and the energy of the sports player about to score that goal. A fantastic compere for the whole evening!