Editor’s Review Of 2010
Performance of the year:
The Boy With Tape On His Face at the Big Owl Comedy Club. As he’s such a visual act, it’s rather difficult to describe the brilliance behind Sam Wills’ work. Seeing him live is an unforgettable experience, as The Boy With Tape On His Face combines the traditions of mime, silent film and puppetry into an act that is both poignant and superbly presented. Go and see him – you will not regret it.
Best comedy club:
Whilst there are some lovely clubs in the region – Hilarity Bites, for example – I have to give this one to Ten Feet Tall. With over a decade of experience in booking comedy, they run some top nights on Teesside and showcase the best solo shows in the country at their gorgeous venues in Middlesbrough, Stockton and Hartlepool.
Edinburgh show of 2010:
There is always one show at Edinburgh that blows you away with its linguistic brilliance, and remains in your mind long after you’ve returned home from Scotland’s wet and windy capital. Daniel Kitson’s monologue It’s Always Right Now, Until It’s Later was just that. Amazing.
Best new act:
Lee Kyle – for creating a set that is simple, unique, and educational.
I was going to give this to The Grinning Idiot’s John Smith, but he can’t appear to keep his clothes on. I’ll let you decide the winner of this category…
There are plenty of candidates for best blog, from Chris Stokes’ A Sort Of Contrived Eloquence to Richard Herring’s Warming Up. But I have to give this one to Gavin Webster, don’t I? I disagree with 60% of the blog’s content – the parts that mention me – but Webster most definitely has an interesting take on comedy, and he’s the winner of this category.
I’ve watched a lot of comedy DVDs in 2010 so this is a tough one – but I’m giving it to Jim Jefferies: Alcoholocaust. His brothel routine, which he closes Alcoholocaust on, is probably my favourite in comedy right now and I’d advocate you spending your Christmas money on this DVD. It’s a fantastic performance from Jefferies, and really shows the Australian at his best.
One to watch for 2011:
Richard Gadd. Scottish comedian Gadd recently won The Laughing Penguin’s New Act Of The Year competition with his fantastic character anti-comedy, and will be appearing at clubs in the North East in 2011. I’d advise you to go and see him now, because he’s a thoroughly enjoyable act with, in my opinion, a big future in stand-up.
Obviously these are just my personal highlights from the past year of comedy in the North East (and Scotland), but if you feel someone deserves a mention or you disagree with any of my choices please do leave a comment using the form below. If nothing else, Giggle Beats is a platform for debate that I welcome you to take advantage of.