After a killer year at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015, the high-energy, laugh-a-minute, five-star show that pits stand up comedians against poets landed in Brighton back in December with a residency at the Komedia and a sold out show at the Brighton Fringe. Each show, the comedy and poetry team captains are joined by guest acts, with the audience voting for the winning art form. The team captains are here to put their case forward for why their team is the ultimate winner.
TEAM COMEDY: First thing you need to know is that Stand Up & Slam is probably the coolest show out there. It brings together words and battling. There’s a bit of stand up, a bit of poetry (yeah, sorry about that) – top-notch stuff. It’s like [8 Mile]. Well, it’s like a middle class [8 Mile]. It is like [8 Mile] though. But set in a Waitrose. Next thing you need to know is that stand ups are clearly the best. Ridiculous to be having the battle in the first place really.
TEAM POETRY: Interesting you say that team comedy, by my notes it seems that team poetry are the victors so far this season.
TEAM COMEDY: Trust you to have it written down.
TEAM POETRY: That’s my job here. I do the admin, first and foremost, because it’s quite simply not something we can trust the comedians to manage. There wouldn’t be a show if we left it to you.
TEAM COMEDY: Note that he’s getting personal already. Pretty insecure these poets. Can’t rely on just their art.
TEAM POETRY: We bring guest acts on with us each show. We let them know whom they’ll be battling in advance so they can do their research. Sometimes the battle starts earlier…
TEAM COMEDY: I’m getting riled up again. If we were in the show right now you’d be hearing some pumping hip-hop music as I. TOOK. HIM. DOWN.
TEAM POETRY: He’s right. For once. At this point normally we’d be facing off in the first of many battles. Let’s kick it off – going to start actually doing some comedy?
TEAM COMEDY: I’m at a total disadvantage here. Comedy rarely comes across on the written page.
TEAM POETRY: Excuses already.
TEAM COMEDY: Fine. How many poets does it take to change a light bulb?
TEAM POETRY: How many poets does it take t-
TEAM COMEDY: NO ONE CARES.
TEAM POETRY: Mature. Fine, I’ll slam you with a bit of poetry.
TEAM COMEDY: ‘Slam’. Sure, sure.
TEAM POETRY: It’s time to put comedy out of this race / the only joke on this stage… is your face. BOOM.
TEAM COMEDY: OK, that was quite good actually.
TEAM POETRY: Yeah, you weren’t expecting that, were you?
TEAM COMEDY: Not as good as my joke, though.
TEAM POETRY: I think it’s only fair if the audience decide. Or the reader of this article, maybe. Hey reader: you’re looking nice today.
TEAM COMEDY: Ah, buttering them up! Definitely insecure. We don’t need to resort to tactics like complimenting BN1’s astute and intelligent readers.
TEAM COMEDY: Now this, this is where the magic happens. Because the next part of the night is where my guest comedians, and they’re the finest, plucked from the live comedy circuit, TV, anything you can imagine, this is where they beat the poets into submission with their array of one liners, puns and hilarious EVERYTHING. This is entertainment and the audience knows it.
TEAM POETRY: What he means is this is where his acts use a range of fairly simple devices to tell us stories direct from their own lives with very little actual art or creation involved. Mostly phallus based jokes.
TEAM COMEDY: You can say ‘dick’.
TEAM POETRY: No need. Before my poets take to the stage to deliver beautifully constructed and performed pieces, by turns hilarious and heartbreaking, using all kinds of clever literary devices.
TEAM COMEDY: Which they read from a piece of paper. Note that the comedians actually learn their stuff.
TEAM POETRY: That’s because the poets can read.
TEAM COMEDY: Wait – that was sarcasm! That’s a comedy thing! That’s ours! You’re like a puppy, you’re so eager to please.
TEAM POETRY: Was that a simile, Team Comedy? Stooping so low as to steal our poetic devices? Oh well done, you’re so clever.
TEAM COMEDY: Huh. It’s almost as if what poets and comedians do is pretty similar in many ways, and the entire battle concept of the show is merely a way to show off brilliant comedians and excellent poets to an audience who just love to be entertained.
TEAM POETRY: Comedy as always. Missing all traces of subtlety.
TEAM COMEDY: Gloating really suits you, Team Poetry – it’s your natural state after all, thinking you’re so superior to everyone.
TEAM POETRY: Well, we’ll just have to see what the readers think – time for a shameless plug?
TEAM COMEDY: I’ll do it, since comedians have no shame. Ahem:
Stand Up & Slam is on at Komedia Brighton on the third Wednesday of every month, with new acts and hosts each show. Next shows are Weds 15 June and Weds 20 July. Tickets available at www.standupandslam.com