Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing

Gig Report: New material in Warrington

There’s a few gigs that, since I started, I’ve kept coming back and doing. They’re not the most glamorous gigs or even the easiest to get to, what they have is something better, an audience that is brutally honest but also not cocks. The Albion is, for me, one of those. I’ve tried out loads of brand new stuff and they are always receptive and even if I die on my hole, appreciative that you’ve tried hard.

I’ve been working on a new show, tentatively called Momentary Lapses Of Extreme Signmaking. I’m at that early stage having tried the opening 10 minutes once (although I had tested it on people at parties and when out). It’s much more storytelling than I’ve done in the last 12 months and, crucially, is less device driven (I don’t use a crutch like a book or keyboard). While I’ve faith in the narrative I’m not sure if it’s standup or storytelling or a mix between the two. I’m also not sure if it’ll need visual support (projection or not).

So I was trying bits out, incredibly rough and with big chunks of blagging…

I’ve popped some notes below on the recording (at the bottom – but just the first 6 mins or so…). I thought it might be interesting to talk about what’s going through my head on the drive home? Maybe not.

To start I will say that the audience were quiet and the background noise is from the adjacent bar and I was on first.

  • Opening (00:00 – 01:40) – This I’ve used hundreds of times as an opener, it won’t make the show I don’t think as it’s not relevant. Enjoyed saying “boom” a bit too much.
  • The Bar (01:41 – 03:05) – Not tremendously funny, really scope for setup here, also dropped the C-bomb far too early. There needs to be more scene setting about where I am (Chester + Hoole + Local Area) to help audience understanding and make the context play stronger. (AJ Hill who was also on spotted this and was dead right, if you use obscure references you lose people – explain it, clarify it or lose it).
  • Kebab Show (03:06 – 03:24) –  There’s two bits in here – 1/ there’s better stuff around me chatting about sustenance and the need for a kebab and it’s social function – 2/ “Retard” is a crappy awful turn of phrase that’s terrible and stupid, I was reaching for “moron”, failed to find it and landed badly.
  • Kebabs (03:25 – 03:32) – I missed Garlic Mayo
  • Walking (03:32 – 04:01) – This is just boring as shit, it’s got lots of unnecessary stuff in and again needs to set the context better – people need to be able to see the street – poss something about the bins (3 bins) is needed)
  • Fifa (04:01 – 04:25) – The Fifa bit needs to work more broadly (for non-geeks) – maybe replace with a sleeping man with pizza on his face and a cup of tea dribbling down his leg?
  • Margaret (04:25 – 04:38) – This has potential but needs to be undercut – doing a good deed is fine, feeling the warm glow of people watch me be a good guy is better, me avoiding eye contact with her in future to avoid any subsequent bag carrying is funnier and sets me up better.
  • Wank (04:38 – 06:15) – This I decided to do about 7 minutes before going on. Real potential for this character to be reincorporated. Does he need to wear glasses? How do I ensure I enter his narrative? Also, stamped the end of this – actually that should be a general note – I went a breakneck speed to see how far I could get.

Tonight’s gig…