September heralds the post-Edinburgh comedown and last year I avoided shows to take stock, write and record. This year, however, I had two of my own shows to run plus a Saturday night appearance at the fledgling South Kensington Comedy Club (pictured).
Bear Jokes waved goodbye to Pub on the Park with a final well attended show featuring a host of new acts plus some regulars. The audience were warm and kept the energy going throughout, many of which were there to see the debut of double act Hunt and Murphy. Arianne Sherine and husband Graham topped off the bill with their own farewell set and I left the venue on a high - leaving it ready for Ben Waterstone's own night to move in next month.
Bear Jokes at The Leyton Star followed a week later with a spectacular bill and a modest yet keen audience. As at POTP, I MC'd with a few songs ably supported by my fiancee and backup dancer Anna J. On my own the songs had impact but with Anna's dancing it's taken us to another level. Audiences literally don't know where to look anymore and the fact they can flick between either or both of us gives the act greater variety for a generation (my own included) who are used to cutting between shots every few seconds.
The show itself ran well and Gary Tro's natural style meant his headline set really was the icing on a very satisfying comedy cake.
Last night Anna and I found ourselves upstairs in a pub for our first ten minutes at the South Kensington Comedy Club. Come 8pm the real audience was zero and there was discussion as to run the show or not. Given the choice of going elsewhere or having a workshop several acts opted to leave but we stayed - if only to run through one of our new songs. As it turned out this was the right move as, shortly after the exodus, a small but dedicated audience arrived and took their seats. This was no longer a workshop.
Considering some of the acts that left were the more experienced ones it was a pleasant surprise to find pretty much everyone on the bill had their moments in the sun - many throughout their set. Working with a single figure audience can be tricky but it tests skills and this is just as valid a reason for performing as anything else. From our ten minutes we found being loud and active is the only way to be and although a very drunk man may not being paying full attention those around him were smiling and joining in at the right points.
A good night and one made better by a cheap and cheerful Chinese after.