Saturday, January 14, 2012

School Night - New Red Lion Theatre

School Night - a new monthly comedy night at the home of #ACMS - has a great idea at its heart, and easily lives up to the potential, with warmth, intelligence and humour to spare. Comedians are invited to perform a set based around their own specialist subject, and, keeping to the theme, there's a tuck shop during the interval offering Double Dips and Rainbow Drops. Education, laughs and, as MC Matthew Crosby (Pappy's) pointed out, a sugar high the likes of which most of the audience hadn't experienced in over a decade. What's not to like?

Nothing, it turns out. The first gig was one of the most entertaining 'mixed-bill' nights of comedy I've been to in ages, and that's thanks in no small part to Crosby who, as a former teacher himself, had some fantastic stories to tell - including responding to a wayward football in the belly with verbal and physical violence in front of an entire Year 7 class.

Steve Pretty gave us a taster of his evolution-of-music Edinburgh show Origin of the Pieces, while the Festival of the Spoken Nerd triumverate Helen Arney (PSHE), Steve Mould (Science) and Matt Parker (maths) were all in their respective elements - I particularly loved Mould's hilarious take on shapes of constant width. But perhaps best of all was seeing Penny Dreadfuls member/alumnus Humphrey Ker fight through illness to bounce around the stage, fizzing with excitement at the chance to deliver his own potted history of Britain 1066-2000. Funny, fascinating and, ultimately, very touching, it was something quite special to witness, actually.

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