October 10, 2005

Weekend Activities

It was a good weekend for going to performances.

On Friday night we headed over to the University Centre for the Jesterlarf comedy night. It's ages since we'd been, and they've moved rooms and done away with the cans-sold-from-a-table and now rely on the main bar (which managed not to suffer any real delay during the interval rush).

The only problem with the room change is that they're still trying to pack in as many people as they used to in the other room, which is bigger, so things were a bit cramped. You get pre-allocated an area of table, which is good, but it would work much better if they lost some of the seats.

Anyway, the comedy was good. Chambers and Nettleton (who seemed more the "next Mel and Sue" than the as billed "next French and Saunders") did a good job of compering the event, and didn't pick on us too much even though we were sat next to the stage.

Stuart Hudson was the first act, and my favourite. He delivered a stream of puns, just at the right tempo where you didn't miss anything, but weren't left waiting for any of them either.

The guest act, whose name I can't remember, and isn't listed on the flyer wasn't much good. He didn't get off to a great start but had pretty much recovered it, only to continually go on about how badly it was going, which became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Mike Gunn, the headline, restored the level of laughter, and ensured that we ended an enjoyable evening on a high.

Then last night we went to one of the Naked Stage nights in the basement of CB2 (which I'm surprised doesn't seem to have a website...). Naked Stage is a series of stage readings of new material written and performed by the members of WriteON! - The Forum for New Dramatic Writing in Cambridge.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect, it all felt a bit bohemian and just isn't the sort of thing I've ever been to. The first piece was really good and quite funny - a ten minute or so extended sketch of a couple getting ready to go out, with her deliberating over what to wear and him getting his "you look lovely in either outfit" predictably wrong. Each character was played by two actors - one for the physical person, and another acting out the character's thoughts - which was a clever idea, although it took a minute or so to realise that that what was happening.

The second piece wasn't as engaging, although it was still enjoyable. It seemed a bit long for the amount of content - a tale set around the death of a cat. It also didn't help that there isn't much of a stage in the CB2 basement (hence the series name) which meant that some of the actors were still visible on stage when they weren't in the current scene.

Afterwards there was a (non-compulsory) audience feedback session to provide the actors and writers with comments and thoughts. It looks like a good group for any budding actors and writers, and the Naked Stage series runs every Sunday evening till the start of December.

Posted by Adrian at October 10, 2005 11:49 PM | TrackBack

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