Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing

Gig Report: Warrington – 8 May ’19

I’ve not written a gig report for a few years – when I first started I used to write them after every gig, but then as 10 gigs became 20, became 100 I stopped – I think I stopped because I stopped progressing and feeling like I was getting better – of course that may be because I kept changing what I did constantly… Anyway, it’s back (for new readers wondering if i’m going to write about other acts I was on with, I’m not, this is a self-critique not a comedy wank-off).

Tonight’s gig was in Warrington, the site of many a fun gig for me, 90% of which have been at the Albion Pub, and 10% of which someone offered to sell me meat, or, more specifically, four steaks that they’d nicked from work.


The gig was a pub gig, the type where you arrive and think “holy fuck how am I going to get through this”. Let me set the scene – flat stage, next to a busy bar, chairs facing away from the stage – table of six at the front all hammered (at 6:20pm) on 4 separate bottles of white wine, the football playing the Champions League (sound on) on 3 TV screens, people bringing their own fruit (easy-peel oranges), a man asking me if these “so called comedians” would be “good or alternative” and a league pool match in the next room.

So how was it?

Actually quite good fun, the room was distracted and hard to be honest, I got a massive boost from the MC who threw every adjective in existance into my introduction which really helped. I decided on a strategy of hitting fast, hard and silly. Essentially trying to pull concentration on to me by talking to audience members with single comments, doing a bit of material, more comments, a bit of material, all with the air of desperation to try and get the “we’re all in this together feel”.

I also deliberately sped up – there’d been quite a lot of backchat earlier in the gig and I wanted to control the space and mute it as best I could.

It nearly worked. A few mistakes on my part. Firstly I’ve not had a solid defined set for a few years and it really shows, remembering what I can go to and from is essential, there was a bit of note checking. Secondly I kept getting focus but then either stamping on lines OR, worse, getting distracted and talking about something else. Thirdly, I don’t trust my flights of fancy enough – there was real potential for playing with the idea of a Travellodge penis (opposed to a boutique penis) that had fun and stupidity in it, but I chickened out a bit and went to material, that FELT like material. Killer. I was hampered a bit by Tottenham scoring in the 97th minute (not my fault), and my exit offstage was a bit shabby (I tried to get booed off and they didn’t really go for it) and I also chickened out of a few jokes, largely at the landlord’s expense that I suspect would have smashed it or got my face smashed in.

Overall a fun evening, the first time in a long time doing a stand up set and not storytelling or musical stuff, but also a fuck-load of fun. So yeah, ask me to do a gig.

Night x