It really became impossible for me to review comedy – the Comedy Festival turned very sour, or the acts involved in it did – or both. And then the newspaper wouldn’t send me along because I was too hard to get in the door (not due to my size, btw).
And it has become harder to review comedy for relevancy too – it was always a weird thing to do but with audience members ruining it by bad heckling, phone-filming and Twitter the secrets were often out before a review; not that I was ever trying to reveal secrets or ruin shows with my comedy reviews – I was about trying to place it in a context. And I found audiences less and less interested in that. The Netflix comedy specials have killed the live reviews. Everyone’s an expert and can supply their own context. A good context for comedy – the best – is simply: WAS IT FUNNY?
Anyway I always try to get along to see James Acaster. He’s become my annual one-stop at the Comedy Festival Shop. Loved his show in 2016. And so went again in 2019 – but wrote a pretty poor review; by which I mean it was a lame piece of writing. Said nothing. Didn’t need to happen. Still at least I didn’t give the game away.
And it was fun to see comedy in a new venue!
Acaster’s Netflix specials are ace by the way. Still working my way through them all…
Stubs is an occasional feature here at Off The Tracks – looking back through the ticket-stub box and remembering how the show went down.