Ive booked another series of Edinburgh preview shows – something I’ve been doing now for over ten years since the days when Josh Hart and I used to run the GAG Club above a rather dingy but lovely little pub (Heroes) in the city centre.
Much as I love pub/club comedy, I think the hour long shows that acts perform at Festivals really extend the art form. Its partly their length – a full hour rather than a twenty or at the most 30 minute set, and partly the expectations of the audience. In a pub or club the audience expects a high rate of laughs whereas in the theatre style a comic can take time to allow a mood to build or a story to develop without feeling the need to crowbar in a punchline every thirty seconds.
Also there’s a degree of expectancy in the club setting that the material will be broadly accessible whereas in the theatre the act can take a few more risks – this is partly because on the theatre/festival citcuit, the audience will quite often go along to see a particular act, with some idea of what they are in for, whereas most people go to comedy clubs not caring that much who is on, but just fitting a celebratory night out into their schedule as appropriate.
The Old Joint Stock Theatre is just about perfect as a forum for Edinburgh previews – its a neutral and yet fairly warm little theatre space, not unlike a number of the venues where some quite high profile acts will find themselves at the Edinburgh Festival itself.
And the advantage to you – if you are reading this in or around Birmingham – is that it is in a lovely central Birmingham location – wheres Edinburgh is bloody miles away!
Oh and for those who like to loosen up with a tipple as they enjoy their comedy – its worth nothing that the venue is part of a rather nice pub and the seats are laid out in cabaret style which means you have a convenient table on which to rest your pint when youre shaking uncontrollably with laughter 🙂
I’ll follow this post up with some specific info about the acts we have coming up – I do hope you can make it.