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May 2, 2010 | by  | in Arts Theatre | [ssba]

Late Laughs

With different line ups and different audiences every night, Late Laughs serves as smutty buffet of some of the comic talent present in this year’s festival. Kinda like First Laughs (certainly a lot of the same material was present, not that there is anything wrong with that) but with more shouting, alcohol and dick jokes.

Now, with shows like Late Laughs you cannot so much review the work itself as the experience of it. And well, beyond the content of the show itself – the comics, who we’ll come to in a minute – the show was a harsh mix between irritating and annoying.

The audience had to wait an inordinate amount of time to get in, which was made all the more irritating as the lengthy queue of people was kept rather clearly in the dark as to the reason for the long wait.

San Fran has made a rather idiosyncratic seating in choice in that there is a stage and then there are about four rows of looooong tables leading away from it. This means that anyone, sitting anywhere has to crane their head to see the performers. I’m sure there were more annoying things about sitting at the tables but I wouldn’t know.

Because I had to stand.

Because there weren’t enough seats to cover all the tickets sold. Which is insane. Like insane insane.

Okay, maybe I wanted to stand. Maybe I like standing. (I didn’t and I don’t.) But I would at least have liked the option. It is worth stressing that I was far from alone in this predicament. They had clearly sold way beyond their seating capacity which struck me as rather not cool. Maybe if they took out the barely used tables and set up a proper audience seating block they could fit more people in and they could, y’know, see the stage without major neck trauma.

Not that there was much to see. The San Fran stage is made unnecessarily cramped with a large table and the lighting wash has several large holes in it causing all the comedians who walk across it to occasionally and disturbingly morph from wacky funsters into sinister faceless wraiths prowling the stage.

The Friday 1st May lineup was a good one with MC Zoe Lyons being funnier than any human being really has any right, Steve Wrigley, Rhys Matthewson and Jamie Bowen all showing off their steller comedy gums, there was another guy whose name I didn’t catch who bombed massively but didn’t give in the wailing wall of indifference eminating from the audience so kudos to him for standing his ground. Miles Jupp was the headline act. Personally, I think he’s a genius and was worth the standing on its own.

Late Laughs is a good idea, with good content (the comedians) executed terribly. I’d almost recommend it but make sure you get a seat.

Late Laughs
At San Francisco Bathhouse
30 April, 1, 7, 8, 14 and 15 May at 10pm
Tickets through ticketek.


About the Author ()

Uther was one of the two arts editors in 2009. He was the horoscopier and theatre writer in 2010. Alongside Elle Hunt, Uther was coeditor in 2011.

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