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Reviewing Comedians: My First Comedy Show

I attended the Stand Up With Women event presented by Latitude Festival & ActionAid UK.

This event, a fundraiser, was a live-streamed comedy show where female comedians performed their acts from the comfort of their own homes. In the case of Kelly Convey, this was “a literal cupboard.”

I did wonder at how well these performers had adapted to a whole new medium compared to their usual live venues. The comedians were all in some aspect of informal wear while they spoke to their laptops or web cameras. Jan Ravens was rather enthusiastic about her sparkly jacket.

What happened?

I had never attended a live comedy show before, so I had no expectations about what I was about to watch. I’d seen routines and sketches from YouTube but never attended a back-to-back event. I’ve watched the Royal Variety Performance. I doubt anyone else would think to compare Miranda Hart’s impressive opening number to Jo Brand’s declaration of

This is not for people with a delicate constitution. Though I don’t have one, so I don’t know what that is.”

Stand Up With Women Logo

The only performers I’d heard of before were Jo Brand, Rosie Jones and Shazia Mirza. I was concerned I wouldn’t be the usual demographic of any of the night’s acts. My personal brand of humour runs close to Jo Brand’s. All the artists regaled tales of current affairs and lockdown life, which was surprising. Kelly Convey’s joke of the main symptom of Coronavirus being paranoia from watching the news too much. Lepacious Bose’s commented about the expectations that women marry and have children early in life before they reach thirty years old and become the whole community’s concern were particularly applicable. The show itself was a bit more political than I had initially thought it would be. The acts appeared more used to the transience of traversing a stage than the stationary requirements of a single camera attached to a laptop.

Was there anything worth watching?

I didn’t dislike much about the event. I only managed the first half of the event due to an early morning commitment requiring me to leave the performance early. What I saw was comparatively good quality for the constrictions due to technology and the Coronavirus pandemic. My video did buffer for a minute at the four-minute mark, and it took a few seconds to air the pre-recorded video from Lepacious Bose. Despite that, the rest of the streaming was as high-quality as anyone could have expected. The live chat, however, certainly wasn’t impressed with the focus of the material primarily sticking to the pandemic. A few of the comedians themselves appeared more suited to a live audience than a screen.

I’m not the sort of person to watch a comedy show and learn something. I did keep an ear out for a few new acts to watch on YouTube at a later date. I did end up telling my sister a few of the jokes mentioned I thought they might appreciate. In particular Kelly Convey’s story of taking a Covid test with strapping men in uniforms only to find out she had a hangover. I’ve been to both live events and streamed live events. I can safely say that I vastly prefer to sit in my pyjamas watching through a screen. If anything, this event has taught me that even high-profile performers are subject to the “keep calm and carry on” the rest of us have plunged towards since last March.

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