Live Review: Daniel Kitson, Bridget Christie, Steen Raskopoulos, Lou Sanders, Nish Kumar, Greenwich Comedy Festival

Live Review: Daniel Kitson, Bridget Christie, Steen Raskopoulos, Lou Sanders, Nish Kumar, Greenwich Comedy Festival

I wondered for a while if it was worth posting my review of Friday night's Greenwich Comedy Festival gig. Who wants to read me blathering on about a group of box-ticking lefty comics putting the boot into Brexit? But then I decided it was such a good gig it deserved a mention.

And, of course, it was compered by the bloody brilliant Daniel Kitson, who always deserves a mention. I don't know how well the full house knew him, but Kitson reminded any fans there that he is as good as a mainstream MC as he is doing pretentious theatre pieces about old people, sadness, filing cabinets, love, memory and dusty audio tapes. One early stand-out mock-arrogant aside was spotting some empty seats at the front and suggesting that the only reason they could possibly have for not turning up to see him was if they were dead.

First act on was Bridget Christie, who certainly had plenty to get her teeth into just by looking at the news from the last couple of days. Christie considered Boris Johnson's attempts at humour in Westminster and suggested that if he was a stand-up comedian he has certainly had a run of bad gigs. She said she would be sympathetic if he was a stand-up but instead he was a crap PM, saying about Jeremy Corbyn at PMQs "He’s worried about trade deals, but there’s only one chlorinated chicken I can see in this room!”. She added that it was as if Alan Partridge had become Prime Minister. The trouble is that at the moment I'd prefer it if Alan Partridge was Prime Minister.

Steen Raskopoulos brought some non-political physical improvisation to proceedings, though when he picked someone who worked in the city called Graham to join in it felt like there might be some score-settling on the agenda. Actually Graham turned out to be pretty good when called upon to act out audience suggestions of his bad behaviour at work. In the end though politics still reared its head when one audience member suggested the most reprehensible thing he did in the office was that "he voted for Brexit."

Lou Sanders also did a set in the middle section and it's a tribute to how far she has come that her off-the-wall sexually frank sideways sensibility worked in front of this Friday night crowd. I've always found Sanders funny and it's great to see that lots more people are now finding her funny too. 

Last up was Nish Kumar who hit the ground running and never really let up. Like Lou Sanders, Kumar has truly come good in the last couple of years. He's got the material and, just as importantly, the stand-up tools to deal with whatever is thrown at him. Just as he was getting his teeth into a long routine about Theresa May in which he started out by faking sympathy for her he was heckled by someone who did not quite get the joke and thought the sympathy was real. Instead of being derailed this just made Kumar push on to even funnier ferociously satirical heights. 

Another routine involved him commenting on the fact that he looks more like the real Jesus than most of the artistic representations of Jesus. It was a viciously funny riff, but let's just hope that Kumar doesn't start thinking he really is the Comedy Messiah. As every stand-up fan knows that's Daniel Kitson. 

The Greenwich Comedy Festival runs until Sunday, September 8. Details here.

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