Free London activities are awesome. I don’t think I’ve ever lived in a city with so much readily available entertainment free of charge. From the museums and galleries to the plethora of parks and monuments.
The discovery of the free comedy shows began with my move to East London, near Stratford. I went to the comedy night at the Theatre Royal which served up some pretty decent laughs.
Last week I went along with a few friends to a recorded comedy show for BBC radio, Chat Show Roulette. The premise was based on improv and led prompts from the host with the aid of pre-written audience suggestions.
Comedians were given ten minute interview slots in which time they found out their name and job and had to run with it. The host was excellent at putting them on the spot and often welcomed them by asking them what their slogan was just seconds after finding out what their “profession” was.
One of the first comedians found out he was a famous television antiques personality and and just seconds after this revelation he was prompted by the host for his famous and well known slogan! Quick on his feet he delivered a convincing “If it’s old and your bold, it’s sold!” The poor guy was later gently reminded about the “book” that he had just written entirely in rhyming couplets about an old antique mirror he had discovered in John O' Groats. He did a really good job of quickly improvising a rhyming couplet about an old mirror which he had to transport from the top of Scotland to his antique shop somewhere in England.
The only female comedian to perform was brilliant. She was assigned a quirky name which was built out of pets names and the names of hated high school teachers from audience members. When she entered the stage she found out that she was a famous advice columnist and proceeded to regale the audience with anecdotes of help she had given to celebrities which were prompted by the host. She was so quick on her feet and didn’t miss a beat with the outrageous prompts she was dealt. Her set ended with a power ballad!
Another favourite was a guy who had to end his set with a reggae song about eggs and chips with a rap break in the middle about the perfect oven temperature for cooking chips.
Each show hosts different comedians and of course new audience suggestions. It was an excellent night out and something I’ll definitely be looking into going to again.