Addy Van Der Borgh
An Audience With Peter
Angie Le Mar
Anthony J Brown
A taster of Agraman
Agraman reciting one of his trademark punning stories.
More Agraman videos
|A taster of Agraman|
|A sweet story from Agraman|
The promoter, and regular compere, of the North-West's Buzz Clubs, Agraman 'the human anagram', came into comedy after being made redundant as a Daily Express journalist.
He started a folk club at the Malt Shovels pub in Altrincham, in 1986 and three years, and a new venue, later, he added comedy to the bill.
In 2004 he won the Les Dawson Award for Services to Comedy at the North West comedy awards.
Original Review:Agraman, the human anagram, is something of a legend on the Manchester comedy circuit, having helped launch the careers of scores of top acts though The Buzz club, which he ran in Chorlton for 15 years.
However, even though he regularly comperes his own gigs, now scattered around northern England, it’s fair to say his contribution to comedy has been much greater offstage than on. Indeed, he’s happy to mention that in all the time he’s been involved with stand-up, he’s never once been given a paid booking. And this is possibly his first ever review.
He’s remained the enthusiastic amateur in spirit as well as financial recompense, gamely taking to the stage with a headful of appalling lolly-stick puns and agonisingly torturous stories constructed solely out of band names or London Underground stations.
Most comperes like to build up an atmosphere of energetic high spirits before introducing the other comedians – not Agraman. He likes to beat the audience into submission with material so bad punters are literally begging him to leave the stage. He holds jokes like a threat over the room. Cheer vigorously, or he’ll unleash another one.
He’s picked up no great delivery skill over the years, either. He doesn’t make much of a virtue of his cheesiness, as someone like Tim Vine might, he just reads the gags and introduces the acts in the most perfunctory way.
Yet for all his apparent failings, there’s always something endearing about a comic who’s himself on stage, and Agraman – real name John Marshall – is just that. He’s doing comedy just for himself, with no career plan and little care about how good he is. That much is obvious.
In an age when comedy course sausage-factories are turning anyone with a milligram of wit into an ambitious, aspiring star, it’s refreshing to see someone potter along at his own pace, happy to be a hobbyist. So two cheers for that – just don’t go expecting to pick up any jokes worth telling in the pub the next day.
|Date of review: Nov 2007|
Wednesday 14th Nov, '07-
Agraman, the human anagram, is a real super hero... The thing that stands out about this guy, as a promoter, is that he responds to a comedian, ie offers work, simply because he likes their comedy, which actually is not how a lot of the other promoters seem to be working these days- the latter focussing on booking 'TV names' etc...
A very, very, very, very, nice man. The Malcolm Hardee of the north.
He knows his comedy onions - he should do he's done enough sets, He's had us crying with laughter. Whenever you work for him you know you won't end up in a pickle . And that`s shallot!!!
Agraman's gigs have a large proportion of regular audience members. He has a knack of creating a comfy, intimate atmosphere for his acts. I've opened gigs for Agraman on numerous occasions over the last seven years or so and I have never had less than an attentive and up-for-it crowd. I've no idea how he does it... all the received wisdom (and this review) says he shouldn't be able to... but he does. He just does.