“This is no normal comedy night. A potential cult following” - www.one4review.com
One4Review (8th February)
So I was right then. I predicted back at the pilot stage that this show had the potential to become a cult and judging by the building audience numbers each week, obviously this is coming to fruition.
Circumstances outwith my control dictated that I missed a couple of recordings, therefore missed the live performances of Ian Rankin and Richard Wiseman. But if you missed them like me, fear not, they are available to listen to on line.
So bright and early on Wednesday 8, together with many others I took my place in the Stand Comedy in preparation of recording number 4.
As usual M.C. Jo Caulfield took to the stage to warm-up the audience and explain to the very few who had not attended before what the premise of the evening was about. Once she had got them bubbling nicely the Game Show host Richard Melvin took to the stage and it was game on.
Comedy Collective captain of team A was Jo herself, joined on the night by Forth One Deejay, panto villain and the Face of Lothian Busses Grant Stott as her special guest, while Graeme Thomas captained Team B and was joined by comedian Teddy, a face that I had not seen for a while.
As per norm the games pitted the comedy talents of both captains and guests against each other, forcing them away from their well rehearsed and honed set material, but giving an equally funny yet slightly raw edge to the stuff delivered. I have always been in awe of how they can deliver even their standard set, let alone this more ad hoc material and staking reputations on the line at the same time, yet as always they came through in style.
Spread over two parts of around 30 minutes per session gave each a chance to shine, all managing most of the time to garner belly laughs from all quarters of the packed out club, and I’m sure all would have been happy for much, much more. But the recording had to finish, but not the night however.
Oh No. After another short break, Jo was back as MC and introduced a few more comics tried out different stuff with mixed results. First to try his material out was Noah Torn. Now this lad was full of confidence and presence, however for my palate his content was waaaay to surreal. However he kept his cool and never dropped the energy throughout the short set.
Glaswegian Keira Murphy was the next comic to try out her new stuff and although some was slightly less successful, by far the majority was more to the club’s taste and as usual she got an enthusiastic reception. Good to see her on form yet again.
Young up and coming funny man Gareth Waugh was slightly late for his appearance, yet with another twist, something that this comedy collective excel at, his set was soon drawing enthusiastic reactions from the crowd.
And yet more was to come with a short sketch based on Edinburgh Tour Guides, and featured the venerable Jim Park and side kick Ben Verth. I’m not too sure who was having the most fun, these two or the audience, something that is developing to quite a theme with these shows, and that in itself is worth the admission money alone.
There are only two more chances to catch the live recording of the podcast, and the stellar line up for each is found on their website www.edinburghcomedycollective.com and while you are doing that The Stand’s website www.thestand.co.uk is the place to find all the shows they have on offer.
Reviewed by Geoff
The www.one4review Review (19th January)
You may remember back in November I visited The Comedy Collective at The Stand Edinburgh and was privileged to see an advanced snippet of The Good, The Bad and The Downright Ugly, a comedy panel show created for a podcast,presented by Richard Melvin and assorted comedy guests. Initially prior to the recording MC Caulfield did the warm up and explained the ideas behind the concept.
The concept is to take the comics out of their comfort zone and to take them away from their well crafted and honed set material.
The comics going through the wringer on the opening recording were the legendry Jo Caulfield, the inimitable Keir McAlister and the outstanding Graeme Thomas.
Melvin set the ball rolling by ‘getting to know’ the panellists and in doing so causing much hilarity along the way, prior to the ‘serious’ part of the proceedings as the three comedians went head to head attempting to get the most laughs and ‘points’. Challenges on The Good, then The Bad, news stories, and other assorted topics took us to the interval and beyond with a variety of ‘debates’ and led to a final round similar in many ways to the ‘Mock the Week’ finale.
Okay it was maybe not as slick as a fully prepared show, but in my opinion anyway, that was a pleasant change. To see these guys flying by the seat of their pants and the genuine enthusiasm they displayed throughout certainly made it the value for money experience that it was. I mentioned in my November review that this show had cult potential, well, I didn’t know I was going to get sucked in. I am supposed to be doing something else for the next recording, but plans are already afoot to reschedule this so I can attend the next performance.
So at the end of the second section that was the recording finished, but was that the end of thing? Not on your life!! Character comedy took over as Jay Lafferty ‘read extracts’ of Victoria’s Diary in the run up to a wedding. I have always rated Jay as a stand-up and her development into a classy character comedian as well makes me even more certain of her talent. It was a well written and presented piece with a lovely twist I hadn’t seen coming and was an added bonus to what had gone before.
And there was more!! Joe Heenan, a stand-up and compere extraordinaire, but Joe the character comedian?? Well he was and an excellent one too!! Fred Nostradamus as a semi-stuntman kept the laughter pot bubbling along well for the duration of his set, a set that was all too short for my liking.
And then there was Lach. How to describe him? Is he a comic? He says no. Is he a raconteur? Well he talks well! Is he a singer and musician? Well certainly if the short burst we saw was anything to go by. This multitalented New Yorker held the crowd rapt for the closing set as he showcased all his talents.
And that was unfortunately all. Until the next time that is. But that is only next week!! Fortunately!!
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (19th January)
A great thing about The Stand’s six-week run of shows, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly with Jo Caulfield and the Edinburgh Comedy Collective, is that they will be released as a podcast.
Thus providing potential audiences with a chance to catch up on what they have missed at home, on the commute to work or even while they’re having a pint in the bar waiting for a show to start.
In her introductory warm-up, before the recording began, Caulfield brought up an interesting point about the show itself. Reminding the audience that the material in the show is new, experimental and takes performers out of their comfort zone, she asked reviewers not to go into the details of parts of the show that did not work – the suggestion being that the comedians themselves are experienced enough to know where their new ideas require polishing.
With an ever-changing line-up of guests, some of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’s future stars look like good value for the fiver entrance fee. Yet the structure of the production is certainly not fixed and the discomfort of the performers taking part in the opening act was evident, only Caulfield holding the show together.
Post-interval, giving participants Keir McAllister and Graham Thomas time to prepare some new material, the team got into the swing of things and had the punters in gales of laughter.
Ending the evening were a trio of character sketches. Jay Lafferty’s anxious Wedding Countdown was served with a delicious twist, Joe Heenan’s Fred Nostradamus the Slightly Dangerous Stuntman wowed the crowd with his daredevil stunts and New York musician Lach indulged in some sublime banter.
Does it work as a whole? Well, I would say Yes and thanks to the podcast you can get online and judge for yourself.
Edinburgh Evening News (January 16th)
Jo Caulfield Returns To The Stand
Jo Caulfield isn’t just one of the funniest comedians currently working the comedy circuit, she’s one of the busiest. But then the two go hand in hand. When not writing the occasional column for the Evening News, she certainly keeps the laughs coming.
Next Wednesday, she returns to the Stand Comedy Club for the first of six new shows entitled, Jo Caulfield’s Comedy Collective, which promise to be a collection of stand-up, sketches and character comedy as well as the recording of The Good, The Bad and The Downright Ugly, a live comedy panel show for The Stand’s new podcast.
“Personally, stand-up is where I am happiest because it’s just me talking and I don’t have to share the stage,” she says, “but I’ve been loving doing a live game show with the audience.
“I wanted to put on a show that was as much fun for the comics as it was for the audience. A show where comics could take risks and do something different from their usual sets.
“So far we’ve had Vladamir McTavish and Gareth Waugh playing a father and son improv team; a penguin double act; Edinburgh tour guides competing against each other and the history of female comedy in five minutes from impressionist Keara Murphy.
“There’s also been Portobello’s self-proclaimed worst magician and a drunk woman heckling... I must remember not to get drunk and heckle my own show.”
Other popular faces scheduled to appear include Keir McAllister, Graeme Thomas, Mark Nelson and Jim Park.
Caulfield meanwhile, can’t quite believe that she is now making a living from what was once a dream.
“To begin with, stand-up was just something I did in between waitressing jobs. I had no idea that you could do it for a living. I still wake up in the middle of the night thinking, ‘I’ve got to get a real job sometime’.”
And in between servings of the Comedy Collective you can keep up with Caulfield by following her on Twitter.
The www.one4review Review
Jo Caulfield's Comedy Collective at The Stand, Edinburgh
Now for those of you who are regular visitors to this site will be aware that we at one4review are big fans of the Stand Comedy Club, and this reviewer is also a huge admirer of Jo Caulfield too. So imagine my delight to see Jo and friends performing this different comedy night on which is sure to become a ‘must see’ monthly event.
This is no normal comedy night. Hell no! Not 4 acts and a compere here, although we do have a selection of some of the best comics on the circuit appearing and of course Ms Caulfield as mein host is in charge, what we do have is, character comedy, sketches, impro comedy and even a excerpt of a comedy game show all linked with laughter and style by our impeccable hostess.
Having done a successful warm-up of the enthusiastic Wednesday night crowd, she introduced the first double act, up and coming Gareth Waugh joined forces with his ‘dad’, the ever popular Vladimir McTavish as ‘The Third most popular Impro group in South Edinburgh.’ This was a nice and gentle set to get things moving, and engaged with the crowd from the off. The packed programme restricted them to a short spot but one that was well worth witnessing.
Character comedy continued next as two penguins fro BBC One’s Nature programme graced the stage. These two chatting between takes had an interesting yet funny take of bird life, complete with penguin gags, yet well hidden in their costumes Jay Lafferty and Dee Custance played their slightly quirky set as only they can and there is plenty of scope in their set for development.
Following the first interval Keira Murphy was the lady in the spotlight and showcased her comedy acting and mimicry talents while delivering a very funny and well written set on the history of women in TV. As always Ms Murphy’s stage presence is imposing and it was good to see her performing once again at the very top of her game.
Close on her heels was a sneak preview of a game show that will be recorded in the New Year and featured Richard Melvin as host of ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’. The game, similar in some ways to Dave’s ‘Argumental’, pitted the very considerable talents of Keir McAllister and Graeme Thomas presenting the case either for or against topics taken from the recent news, the winning argument being judged on audience reactions. This of course gave these guys plenty of scope to duel with each other and howls of laughter were the order of the day from the packed crowd. I certainly could have stood far more of this section.
Heading towards the end now and following the brief second interval a teenage ghost, okay Eleanor Morton with a sheet and a baseball cap, had a few minutes of surreal humour prior to being dragged away by overbearing mother Jojo Sutherland. This I’m afraid was the only part of prceedings that for me anyway didn’t work, but they gave it a go, it was something that the concept of the night was designed to encourage taking people out of their comfort zone after all.
All over then? Not yet!! We needed a review of proceedings, other than mine that is, and who better than those intrepid Impro all stars Stu Murphy and Garry Dobson. Employing their pet impro game ‘Should have said’. These two brought the show to new heights with an absolute hoot of a performance as the man from Radio 4 discussing with Aussie commentator Murphy the whole proceedings.
At that was it. A long night, but an absolute belter. It was good to see so many weel kent faces doing things other than their sets. This had the enjoyment factor flowing from the stage too, it was almost palpable as they watched what their peers where getting up to.
I feel that the concept of this show has a potential cult following, and I’m sure acts too will be queuing up to perform. As no doubt will the audiences too. I was forced by circumstances to miss the first couple of the series, a mistake that will not happen again I can assure you.
Posted on 24/11/2011 by one4review
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