Friday, 14 October 2016

Bear Jokes

Steve McCann talking up some geezer truths
If last month's Bear Jokes had been good then this evening's went one better. Thirty minutes before the show had even started there was a healthy audience. By showtime they'd filled the room to the point that some people had to sit on the floor. 

As anyone who has either run or attended a "new act night" before knows, to get more than a handful of real audience (heinous friend bullying "bringer" gigs aside) is a total rarity. Bear Jokes has now performed consistently for a good few months. After a summertime lull things are definitely back on track.

The mix was as random as it could get and was all the better for it. With Tight-Tens and Stand Up at The Leyton Star populated largely by acts I have long standing relationships with and trust to bring the house down with relative ease, Bear Jokes is now very much my launchpad for those I'm less well acquainted with - with a few gold plated regulars I can rely on to bring the audience up from any slightly more wayward sets. Comedy poetry, character acts, music and storytelling got into the mix with more conventional stand-up and provided more twists and turns than the average rollercoaster.

Large parts of the crowd were difficult to read though and increasingly boisterous towards the end. Ariane Sherine, debuting her brand new song about male genitalia, probably hit home more consistently than anyone else but everyone had their moments of mass mirth. As for me, "Clicking Like", got a reasonable reception opening the first half. "Foodie", however, did well enough with the first row but from there on back the audience were simply too reserved to get involved with the, admittedly stupid even by my standards, participation elements. Given its reggae dancehall rhythm its role as a breaker in longer sets is assured but standing alone it probably isn't in its element.

Come 10pm everyone wrapped up, drank a pint of whatever the hip ale of the week was and headed home more amused than they had arrived. Which, let's face it, is a win by any standard.

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