Waffle cake creator and lover of all things purple

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West Sussex, United Kingdom

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Fat Tuesday on a Monday - Previews

I truly have no idea where to start with this. I was completely blown away by the performances of both comedians last night, that I’m struggling to find a way to structure my thoughts.

Kevin Eldon. How the hell can you sum that man up in a few measly words?
I will start by saying he is definitely a face of comedy rather than a brand name. A surprising number of (sub par) people will not necessarily recognise him by name, but show them a photograph of the chap and they will be able list a whole ream of Kevin's comedy gold appearances.

Most notable, to me at least, is his collaborations with Bill Bailey, both in live performance and in shows such as Black Books. The two of them play off each other like a beam of light reflected off a watch face, teasing the audience with their brilliance much like you can tease an over excited kitten with a blob of sunshine.

I arrived a little early to Fat Tuesday’s Monday Special. On my rather tedious journey, I had decided to personally name the evening "Morbidly Obese Monday", but then realised it sounded more like a government funded awareness campaign or Gok Wan’s new TV series than an amusing play the original title of the evening, so decided to keep my new made up name for the evening a secret. Wise move on my part.

Arriving early to an event quite often happens to me when travelling over 50 miles to see a bucket load of funnies. Luckily, Rosie and Tiernan are lovely and let me sit upstairs to stay out of trouble. Kevin arrived soon after, laden with a bag of mystery and a guitar. Whilst he set up, he let slip that this was his very first preview of his very first solo show. He seemed genuinely nervous about sharing his newly written show-child with a room, soon to be filled with 60 paid up audience members, all ravenous for quality entertainment. Reflecting back, the reality of performing untested works in front of people who've paid to see it must be terrifying.
Tiernan reassured Kevin that the Fat Tuesday crowd of attendees are well versed in the way of “The Preview” and that on the whole, we are all good eggs.

The mob of giggle starved individuals started to take to their seats, eagerly awaiting their gargantuan feast of comical genius. I hadn’t been this excited about a show for months. I try not to get too full of bubbly anticipation, just in case my expectations of awesome and wonderment end up being greeted by the stale, desiccated pangs of disappointment, but I just couldn’t help it. Kevin Eldon! I have wanted to see this guy strut his funky stuff for years and now I get to be a part of the “First Preview” experience. I sat there, trying to reposition my expectations to an achievable level, before anxiously awaiting kevin to bring the magic.

I am not going to talk about the show for fear of spoilers but WOW can that man BRING IT! His nerves seemed to melt into nothingness and the multitalented man of many voices, delivered a practically seamless show of highly intelligent and witty spheres of utter genius. We were hit with musical interludes, intellectual musings, terrifyingly accurate impressions; it was an honour to behold, and one which you should all seek out. Go! Go now!

The second preview of the evening was performed by the loveliest of ladies, Tara Flynn.

Tara is a miniature whirlwind of Irish charm and beauty. She has melted many a chocolate lover’s heart as the voice of the Caramel Bunny in Ireland, recorded sketches for Stewart Lee’s comedy vehicle and more recently entertained students / housewives / layabouts with her rather saucy character performance on the daytime soap opera Doctors.

I have seen Tara perform a number of times at the London Comedy Improv, but this is the first time I'd seen her perform her own show, and more surprisingly, the first time I'd ever seen her sing.

For her new show “Big Noise”, she has returned to her original comedy roots and written an abundance of quality songs, each with a clever and insightful twist of humour. Tara seemed a little bit nervous, which may have led to the occasional stumble over links, but the quality of her song performance was outstanding. As soon as the musical introduction started, you could feel her passion for the song devour the whole room. Throughout the show, Tara demonstrated her envious ability to adopt and dominate a range of different musical styles ranging from 80’s throwback to varying parodies of modern day musical embarrassments. The songs were accompanied by a wave of satirical dance routines which were theatrically performed with all the vigour and gusto of someone who is truly in love with what they do. It’s incredibly refreshing to see a comedian/musician who graces the stage with such fervour for their art. The room was incredibly hot, which started to affect tara’s voice slightly towards the end, but I can honestly say I have not heard a live performance with such a rich and luxurious vocal tone for quite some time.

If you like songs by the likes of Bill Bailey, you will love Tara’s show. Please go and see it when you visit the Fringe festival this year.

I really love seeing the Edinburgh previews. They are a delight to witness as you get to see things evolve and grow whilst feeling like an important part of it.

The Fat Tuesday team are playing host to a number of previews on the run up to August. Do check out their website for further details.