Footlights’ Smoker

Tadgh Barwell O'Connor 12 February 2010

ADC Larkum Studio – 8.00pm Tues 9th February 2010


As my charming guest perceptively pointed out, there’s no better place to take that freak you’re inevitably coupled with on a RAG blind date than a Smoker: low lighting so you can’t tell how bad their face really looks, cheap booze so you can’t focus properly on anything let alone their fugly chops, and they are bound to laugh at least half of your jokes (for ‘your’, read ‘the footlights’, who, because you bought the tickets, have somehow become extensions of you, increasing your sex appeal drastically with their rainbow of oddly shaped and overly talented performers. Let’s face it: you’ll never be as funny as they are. Ever.)

Generally the going was good, with fine fillies such as Tamara Astor’s bedtime story, Sarah Bartley’s Panda Pop tirade, and President Tedder’s face making fair odds. Others were more ‘soft,’ disappointingly underdone in places. Lucian Young writes a f**king fantastic sketch, but fell short when placed next to more experienced stage performers. Ellie Ross was a charming cover to his bumblings around, while Keith Akushie’s stillness and confidence saved the opener which had brilliant raw lines but lacked the juicy comedy meat cooked better later on.

The premature-ejaculating-penis-man-mime was hilarious from Jacob Sharpe. Katy Bulmer gave a frighteningly funny, if rather protracted, set. That desire to drag out the limelight marred all except the most succinct performances, the best being Banjo Boy and his boyfriend-hate song, which saved the night and left us yearning for more. Though good comic timing was universal, the pacing needs a good kick up the backside. Drunkards have attention spans shorter than Oompa-loompas. Delight us, excite us, but don’t go on too long!

Tadgh Barwell O’Connor