Silverman bombs at UK debut

Fans fuming over 45-minute show

Sarah Silverman was heckled during her first UK live dates, after performing for little more than 45 minutes.

Tickets for last night’s show at the Hammersmith Apollo had cost between £30 and £42 – but were changing hands for an average of £100 online.

Despite performing largely old material, Silverman garnered plenty of laughs from the 3,600 fans who sold out the West London venue. However, the 37-year-old disappointed the audience by leaving the stage so early.

After a slow handclap, she returned, but with little material, and was greeted with the heckle: ‘Sarah, you’re over-hyped, I want my money back.’

After an uncomfortable five minutes in which she struggled to recall any material, shetold the audience – which included David Walliams, Julian Barratt and Chris Morris – to go home as she had ‘shot her load’.

Disgruntled fans wasted no time in registering their disapproval online, too. One said: ‘All in all, a fairly awful night out’.

On Time Out magazine’s website, fan Simon M said: ‘The most disappointing comedy gig I’ve ever been to when considering the price that we paid… Sarah was often very funny, but felt like she approached the gig in a very lazy and ill prepared manner. To have such a short set was unbelievable and embarrassing.’

Andrew added: ‘That was such a lame show - less than an hour and the first ten minutes was a showreel for her new series. No new material and seemingly she couldn't remember the old stuff... or ad lib.’

On Chortle’s forums, ‘Groper’ said: ‘The attitude to the audience was appalling… I’ve always thought she was great. I still think she’s got fantastic stuff. But she worked really hard to turn me off with everything about tonight.’

The evening got off to a poor start, with the doors opening late, and the show itself beginning more than 20 minutes late. Support act Steve Agee, the comic who plays one of Silverman’s gay neighbours in her Comedy Central series, was ill, and could only deliver a brief video link-up from Los Angeles – in which the audio cut out over the only joke. The only support act Rich Fulcher and Matt Berry then performed an awkward couple of minutes about their upcoming appearances on her show, which also bombed.

The backlash follows a number of disappointing high-profile gigs. Fans booed Steve Coogan in Liverpool last week, after finding him underprepared for his first tour in a decade. And even some normally loyal Mighty Boosh fans have been disappointed at their current tour, which has been branded ‘lazy and unbelievably self indulgent’.

>> Chortle review of the Silverman gig

Published: 20 Oct 2008

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