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!

Interview with Joz Norris

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

Joz Norris: My first gig was about three years ago at the Queen Charlotte pub in Norwich, for Laugh Out Loud, the student comedy club at UEA. Over the next two years, I worked closely with LOL and ended up co-running it myself for a year or so. It was all very amateur, and we only gigged once a month to an audience of predominantly our friends and fellow students, although I did occasionally branch out into other comedy nights in Norwich. I always loved doing it though, so I eventually made the decision to move to London and try to start working on the London circuit, which is altogether a more serious and full-on thing in comparison. I’ve been gigging in London and trying to make a career of it for about eight months now.

Review: Knock2Bag, Bar FM, London

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The club was packed. Even upon entering Bar FM, it had that Saturday night buzz and it was only a Wednesday night! A significant amount of people were even happy to stand for the show. Lloyd Griffith MC’d the night, providing just the right level of audience banter to “get you in the mood” before each act came on. The great thing about Lloyd, especially as an MC, is the pace at which he builds up his material. The jokes are slick but the choir boy a capella surprise adds that extra level to his set, especially juxtaposing a Pavarotti-esque rendition with different “tape” impressions and so accurate that if someone had literally started to pull a piece of cellotape by the microphone you wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference. The first comedian of the night was Nish Kumar, who humoured the audience with jokes centring around multiculturalism and being a British-Asian. Nothing wildly adventurous but he was articulate, his jokes were succinct and performed with that “easy watching” feel to his set.

Interview with Joe Wilkinson

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Sara Shulman: How did you get into comedy?

Joe Wilkinson: My local pub was putting on an open mic night and I thought I might give it a go and I booked myself in and then felt sick with nerves everyday until I did it

Sara Shulman: Did you always want to go into comedy?

Joe Wilkinson: I have always loved comedy but I could never imagine myself doing it, it still feels very surreal

Sara Shulman: What was your first gig like?

Joe Wilkinson: I don’t remember a thing about it as I was so nervous. After someone told me that the first thing I said was “I’m not sure but I may have shat myself” What a great start to a comedy career

Review: Totally Tom, The Soho Theatre, London

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As soon as the ‘Bring It On’ theme tune filled the room, Tom Palmer and Tom Stourton burst on stage with their high energy cheerleading and over the top dance routine that sparked off the first sketch – a Club Med satire. Already you could see that their style was clever and sharp paying close attention to detail that made the sketches very funny indeed, a feature of their comedy that continued throughout the whole show.