Where is the blog post on yesterday’s events? Hopefully, in a moment, Matthew Somerville will be writing something about what he got up to yesterday, unless he’s given up or forgotten. In his blog post, which I’m sure will be erudite and full of whimsy, he’ll first talk about Tom Williams’ Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, wherein Tom told Matthew and others a character comedy about a murder trial based around people such as the court painter, and the lawyers (the defence lawyer was fed up of being a maverick and just wanted to stick to the rules – in fact, he mused, wouldn’t being the maverick that stuck to the rules really be the true maverick?).
You’re probably beginning to realise that someone has started writing this blog post, and it’s not Matthew Somerville. This Not Matthew Somerville will just come along, take the spotlight of Matthew’s blog, and begin to write about the events Matthew got up to the previous day, starting with Tom Williams and moving on to Nicki Hobday, a delightfully self-referential show which started with an empty stage with voiceover asking about this empty stage, progressed through what makes good theatre and some lovely talking hatstands, and ended with – well, Matthew wouldn’t want me to spoil it but let’s just say it involved giant balloons and then change the subject dramatically, pretending none of the above ever happened.
I next went to see Stewart Lee. Continuing my audience paranoia theme, I want to go back now to see if how one joke was received truly was the worst it had been so far, or if that was actually part of the act – sometimes, it can be pretty hard to tell. Ah no, it was us, we were weirdly quiet. Anyway, I laughed lots (especially at running jokes, I do so like them); perhaps I need to work on a more throaty louder laugh.
Quick dash across to the Dome (I’d pay either to relocate the Stand lock stock and barrel to Bristo Square somewhere, or to have a new bridge put in going across, otherwise it’s up, then down, then up, then up, then down) for Pete Firman and his magic. Some classic good magic with twists, teleporting a £20 note into a cupcake or predicting a card chosen randomly from an imaginary deck, combined with some nod-and-wink “magic” including a predictive bag with an audience-but-not-volunteer-visible window and a hovering ball powered by obvious plugged-in air blower. Great fun.
One Man Lord of the Rings does exactly what it says on the tin, and how so. Reminding me at a number of times of Peter Serafinowicz, this contained very impressive, umm, impressions, a few knowing asides, and did indeed contain the plot of the entire trilogy (as told through the films) in an hour, including soundtrack.
Lastly for the day, Norman Lovett took us on a charming ramble through the contents of his bag, which included loo roll tubes, empty plastic bags, some cycling gloves, a small claw thing from Maplin and more, accompanied by digressions about the Sugababes (I don’t think they are the Sugababes any more, Norman, not now they have no original members) or Manchester (hooray). He also dealt very well with the noise coming from upstairs, so that was, as he pointed out, actually helpful to his show. A very different pace from most comics I have seen, but just as welcome.