On this recent Bank Holiday Sunday evening, I popped down to Brighton’s Theatre Royal for an evening of laughs from London’s premier comedy production company The Invisible Dot. Only having heard of one of the night’s acts, I was excited to see what was in store.
Our host for the evening was ‘comic newbie’, Canada’s Mae Martin. She did a great job of holding the whole thing together, really warming up the audience between acts with her lively energy. I loved her anecdotes about her anxious Mum who seems to find fear in the most simple of situations, such as Mae bringing a suitcase home with her when visiting (“well we’ll have to find somewhere to put it!”) and her Mum’s friend Miriam who loves to repeatedly tell a story of how her eyes met with Jeremy Iron’s across an airport restaurant (but it might not have actually been him after all!). I also really enjoyed her observations on sexuality when she talked about how, after the end of a long term relationship with a woman, she would be happy to date either a woman or a man. Her friends reacted to this news with “but you’re hair, you lied with your hair!” (To understand this you need to note that Mae has short hair and at the beginning of the evening even introduced herself as Justin Bieber…).
Our first act, Dane Baptiste, BBC3 star and Best Newcomer nominee, bought a bit of a mish-mash set to proceedings. I really enjoyed some of his bits, such as his visualization of what would happen if the next James Bond was black, and his sometimes easy to miss, but very clever digs at modern society and the government. However sometimes his set became exceedingly close to the line and this jarred with his more intelligent observations.
The second act was Edinburgh Festival Award 2015 winner, and Australian, Sam Simmons. His set was completely bizarre, and I absolutely loved it! At the beginning of his time he decided to put Kangaroo paws up his jumper and proceeded to hold the microphone, I know that doesn’t sound funny but you had to be there I guess, I was actually in tears…His use of voice overs and little songs throughout were incredibly original and I really enjoyed his various ‘impressions’. I say that with inverted commas as his ‘impressions’ were things like “This is an impression of a man with a donut on his knee.” Yes, that’s exactly as it sounds, but somehow Sam made the simplest of things hilarious. I’m glad such an ‘oddball’ won last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Award as opposed to someone more traditional.
The man we were all here to see was up last but not least, Adam Buxton ‘Dr Buckles’. I’m a huge fan of Adam and have been for many years. Lately i’ve been listening to his new podcast but I haven’t seen him live since Reading 2003 (!) so I was more than a little excited to see him on the bill. He was just as good as I hoped and I had to hold onto my Husband several times to stop myself vibrating right out of my seat with laughter. The set was similar to his famous ‘BUG’ series where reads out some of the weird and wonderful YouTube comments on music videos. This evening’s videos were the John Lewis Christmas ad and the music video for David Bowie’s Let’s Dance. For the latter someone had said that Let’s Dance was a bad song to dance to, well Adam proved us wrong with an impressively choreographed, and quite energetic, routine which had me in stitches. We also explored some files on Adam’s computer such as his chart record of the subject of the arguments he’s recently had with his wife and some videos of his latest ‘Summer jobs’. Let’s just say it’s all very hard to explain, but he was on point as always.
Overall the evening featured a mixed but often hilarious bill and I’d be really excited to see The Invisible Dot back in Brighton very soon!