Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre
Simon B Cotter
Snorri Hergill Kristjansson
Special guest who cannot be named
Stephen K Amos
Steve N Allen
Health and safety
From Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow
More Steve Hughes videos
|Health and safety|
|The secret lives of funny people part 2|
|Comedy Cuts: Steve Hughes - Episode 1|
Action Against Hunger night, County Hall
Even at the peak of his GLC powers, I’m fairly sure Ken Livingstone didn’t take to County Hall’s chamber floor, act out anal sex with his fingers and tell the assembled politicians that was better than a ‘floppy old vagina any day’.
But now the empire has long fallen; the old seat of power holds so little authority that the comedians have taken over, the grandeur of history becoming a playground for mockery.
The council chamber of County Hall, the imposing neo-baroque building facing the Houses of Parliament across the Thames, makes an unlikely but imposing stand-up venue. The elegantly panelled room certainly brings a sense of occasion you don’t get when you enter the Walthamstow Chuckle Cabin, as you take to the plush leather benches, arranged in a horseshoe with a majestic speaker’s chair placed at mouth of the ‘U’, elevated like a throne.
In fact, it’s a bit too plush for a typical comedy club experience, which is what the first stand-up gig here – a charity tie-in with Action Against Hunger – tried to replicate. It’s too easy to relax back into the padded seating, wry chuckles dissipating into the high ceilings, rather than engaging with the acts. That you can’t bring drinks into the chamber – leading to a night split between the stand-up and a corporate-style reception in the makeshift ‘bar’ set up across the corridor – also doesn’t help.
And that’s before we get into the opening-night teething problems of no music, no mike stand, and intervals so short you have to gulp down those prohibited beverages at an unhealthy pace.
Commanding compere Chris Gilbert reeled out his best comedy-club banter before each act, even inducing one willing punter to belt out a Jeff Buckley number in lieu of the missing music… but the audience remained reticent despite his best efforts.
The buttoned-down audience didn’t quite know what to make of scraggly Australian death metal fan and new world order conspiracist Steve Hughes – but then again few crowds do. He began with his most accessible stuff, about his homeland’s conservatism and his lack of interest in the sporting culture – before espousing the perfectly convincing theory that there’s nothing gay about having sex with another man. It’s intelligent stuff, but a little obtuse for an opening act at a gig for casual comedy-goers, and his delivery was too relaxed to engage them.
And when he went on to suggest the charity wouldn’t achieve their hunger-busting aims without dismantling the whole global industrial complex, he wasn’t just off their wavelength, but completely off their dial, and the result was more patient bemusement than belly laughs.
Richard Herring went down much better than he thinks he did, judging by the post-gig commentary he shared with the room. Although his strength is always likely to be in one-man shows, his stand-up set is increasingly robust, including such well-honed routines as living his life by certain impractical mottos, subverting the French language’s insistence that a potato is a ‘pomme de terre’ and mocking the childish sign language for homosexuality – hence the ‘floppy vagina’ comment.
The segments play to both aspects of his persona of a slightly dysfunctional man-child with too much time to think: a winning combination of obtuse intellectualism applied to the most juvenile of subjects.
The section from his latest show, Hitler Moustache, in which he argues with unequivocal irony that ‘racists might have a point’ with their moronically simplistic world view, is perhaps more wryly witty than laugh-aloud hilarious, but the audience were more than happy to go on the journey with him.
Headliner Rufus Hound make the best use of the imposing room; drawing the audience in with the subtle skills of a storyteller; his muted delivery a far cry from the louder rabble-rousing he’s forced to employ in his regular compering duties or on Dave’s Argumental. This venue does seem a little like a lecture hall, so Hound engrossed the audience with grand theories of evolutionary psychology to describe how the human race has come to interact how it does, and spreading a message of tolerance and inquisitiveness.
Oh, and sucking cock. It is a comedy performance, after all.
Actually, Hound’s picked up some tips from Herring and his erstwhile comedy partner Stewart Lee, in gently teasing an audience down a train of thought, only to subvert it – and often with a repetition whose very predictability becomes the joke. He is very eloquent about his cause – you could call him the Malcolm X of oral sex – but tempered with accessible observational material, largely about relationships, making for a quietly impressive set.
But the star of the night, which couldn’t quite be topped, was the building itself. More comedy nights are planned for this elegant venue; which will hopefully recognise its unique strengths and weaknesses, now lessons have been learned from this dummy run. A storytelling event would work well here, or something more theatrical or interactive, such as a comedy debate to go back to the chamber’s roots.
But for occasion alone, the place is a hit.
|Date of live review: Friday 27th Nov, '09|
Review by Steve Bennett
Sunday 5th Feb, '12- Leicester Square Theatre
Monday 4th Jun, '07-
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2007 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2005 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2006 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2004 -
I can honestly say he is the funniest comedian I have ever seen.I laughed,I cried,until I couldnt laugh or cry any more. A genius with a relaxed 'Steve Hughes' interpretation of the world we live in. It was therapy more than a stand up show... It was brilliant.
Steve at the Ironworks Inverness 24th March: This relaxed Aussie entertained the audience with his brand of Hippy Zen philosophy with a matter of fact Antipodean approach that had an affinity with a proportion of the audience. As time goes on, Steve's material will evolve and move on from his political/corporate business jibes that seem to jar with his ideology. He's a natural comedian who can make fun of any subject matter that is a rare gift. Look forward to where his comedy content takes him?
Saw Steve last night in Cardiff and laughed my pants off as did everyone else around me. Yes the material was a little Hicks-y BUT if you're gonna do a little cribbing, then do it from the best :)
Funny when not ramming his own personal politics down people's throats. If you are so anti capitalist, can I have my money back?
Saw steve last night at Doncaster Dome, absolutely side splitting, cheek bones aching with laughing. met him outside afterwords and he had the time and patience to speak with everyone, 10/10 top night.
On looking through these comments, it's hilarious how many people accuse Steve Hughes of being racist. I don't pick any of that up from his material in the slightest. As most of those accusations come from women (and their boyfriends no doubt), I'd say these people are being just a little over-sensitive. The guy is a comedian. Do you understand that concept? Do you perhaps need it in braille or large font before you understand that comedians are not supposed to be taken seriously / literally? The whole point of comedy is to leave your brain at the door & actually attempt to add some humour into your sad existence.rnrnSteve Hughes is a great comedian. Some idiots may like to point out that he's overdosed on Bill Hicks material, but at the end of the day, NOTHING is original, EVERYTHING is Xerox somewhere down the line, just with a slightly different slant. So don't think you're impressing anyone into thinking you're above average intelligence by trying to 'expose' Steve as a mere tribute act. He is a genuinely funny guy with his own unique views on life. If you're offended by that, then hell slap it into you...
I had the privilege of seeing Steve Hughes last night at Komedia in Brighton, and bloody good he was too, top bloke, and Komedia a good venue, well done to all.
First time seeing Steve at the comedy carnival last night and he didn't disappoint, a lot better than most of the bland nonsense that passes for comedy these days. Well done sir,yourself and mister Wool had me in stitches.
|This is abhorrent...
Fury as Steve Hughes mentions slain PCs in his comedy set
21/09/2012 Permanent link
Big Value Comedy Club (Late)
Edinburgh Fringe 2004
Steve Hughes At War With Satan
Edinburgh Fringe 2005
Steve Hughes: Wake Up!
Edinburgh Fringe 2006
Steve Hughes: Storm
Edinburgh Fringe 2007
Steve Hughes: Heavy Metal Comedy
Reginald D Hunter 2010 tour
Steve Hughes: Big Issues