One of the Carltons most sought-after stars is a chap called Ian Ward, who has often been told that he should go a become a stand-up comedian. Well, he took the advice, and went and became one. I went to see him and several other acts a few weeks ago, at The Ship in Borough (phenomenal reviews, eh?).
Ian has a blog here, which has the tagline, “Quantity guaranteed…” (!). He also has a video on Google Video here, which gives a good idea of his style of comedy. However, when I saw him he had obviously honed his material and style and so on, because he was hilarious. Now I like to think I’m a good audience member for comedy, because I enjoy being made to laugh, and it’s possible to get me to howl if the material and the timing is right. Mairi has also told me I pound tables when the hysterics take me, but I wouldn’t know. Too busy laughing.
The audience in the overlit upstairs room in the pub consisted mainly of friends of Ian, and also of the other acts, who were all just starting out (I think, and in some cases, hope). So there was a certain amount of immediate sympathy. But they needn’t have worried! Most of the acts were great, and I hope that the good ones continue and do more.
Ian himself came on second, and his material is basically the kind of thing he talks about normally. A bit sick in places, which doesn’t bother me, but which got a couple of winces from the crowd. But he was really good and funny and I hope he does more.
The most accomplished and experienced act of the night was a double act by the name of Amphlett and Candy, who look like Michael Nesmith without the hat working as a supply teacher, and Reese Shearsmith crossed with a Blue Meanie. They made me laugh and laugh – they reminded me of the League of Gentlemen and Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, but totally original in their way. I was forced to say thank you in the bar afterwards.
Sadly there was a downside to the evening, in the shape of the compere. I don’t know where they found her, but she had this amazing knack of killing whatever atmosphere had been built up by the acts stone dead. She didn’t just link the acts, she rambled and wittered on, and I think she thought she was doing some standup herself. But really, shut up, get off, and lets get the next act on. I almost feel guilty for writing such vitriol, but it was embarassing, presumptuous and annoying.
But all in all it was a good night, especially as I got to see many people I haven’t seen in a while and get drunk with them. Hi to you all, and sorry (just in case).