So something a little bit different for me and F this week. (I promise we don’t normally go out this much, it just always seems to be the way that things all happen to fall around the same time! I promise me and F do just sit at home and watch movies most nights when we’re together.)
We went to a comedy! Not just any comedy stand up, but the spectacular (hahaha see what I did there, Spectacular, a cheeky twist on the title and the name of the stand up. No? Just me?) Sue Perkins and her Spectacles tour. The venue was more local and didn’t involve hopping from train to tube to get into the big city. This simply was a car journey of not too long a period.
I have been to this venue only once before to see Jamie T. For that we were on the penultimate row on the balcony so not even remotely close to the stage. However, this time I got tickets to sit in the stalls. Five rows back to be precise 😉. The stage was within touching distance. I would be able to see the facial features of Sue on stage instead of just a blur! How exciting!
I have previously gone to amateur stand up nights in London at the Top Secret Comedy Club and thoroughly enjoyed my nights there, so I was looking forward to seeing a name I actually had heard of and already knew I would be in for a night of laughs.
For those of you who don’t know Sue Perkins, I suppose she became most famous or well known to me on this programme called The Great British Bake Off. She was part of a duo of her and Mel and they were belly-aching funny together and as much as I loved the baking, the programme wouldn’t have worked without them two. Sue has also branched off on her own and done a variety of appearances on quiz shows including QI and Have I got news for you. Sue has also presented her own shows including a documentary on her travelling up The Mekong River and most recently hosting Insert Name Here.
The one thing I really like about Sue Perkins above other comedians is that she doesn’t swear, nor does she belittle others to such an extent to make herself funny like other comedians. She doesn’t use her sexuality or gender to get laughs. She is just a generally, an honest originally funny person and I really admire that.
Like most things Me and F go to we always try and have a meal out together first and then we go to the venue, get a drink at the bar, get our seats and have a bit of time before the actual shows start. But not last night however. The opposite happened.
Normally on tickets the time they state is when the doors open and that is generally half an hour before the show starts so it gives people time to get there, get drinks and settle into their seats. So me and F casually turned up at about twenty to eight (tickets started half seven) and the lobby was empty. There was no one about. There were a couple of ushers who came up to us. We showed them our tickets and this young gentlemen said he would lead us to our seats. Me and F were both a little taken back as we didn’t have the chance to get a drink and had no idea where everyone was. The second we entered the entrance to the hall it dawned on us. We heard the faint rumble of laughter and to our horror Sue Perkins had started!
The embarrassment. All I can say is I safely covered my face as the usher led us from the side door and in front of a row a seats then through an aisle past at least ten more rows before we finally reached our seats. At this moment in time I wasn’t that pleased that we had seats in the 5th row from the front and slap bang in the middle. It just drew even more attention to us. Thank goodness it was Sue Perkins. I can only imagine that any other comedian like Jimmy Carr or Lee Evans would have definitely picked on us!
After hastily taking our coats off, squeezing past the five or six people in our row to get to our seats we were finally sat down and ready for a night of Sue.
The first of half (of which we missed a good 5 or 10 minutes!) was based around her book Spectacles – a memoir. As well as a projector showing photos of her family including, her mum and dad’s wedding, her as a baby and various photos of her throughout her childhood. She also read extracts from her book. I loved this. I confess I haven’t got round to reading her book yet but when I do it will be great to imagine how certain parts are meant to be read after hearing her reading it. Sue did a lot of off the cuff talking and engaged with the audience very well. All around people were screeching with laughter and clapping at Sue.
The interval came and went. A quick chance to pop to the loo, buy a drink and some sweets and then run back to our sweets in plenty of time of the second half starting. Now I wasn’t sure what to expect from the second half, maybe more extracts and photos. Instead Sue opened it up to the floor and it was Q&A time. Now this isn’t to everyone’s cup of tea but I loved this. Sue handled it so well and it was great to see her go into so much detail over each question she was asked. Sue also did a great job at responding to such spontaneity.
The first question, I can’t say I was surprised, but the first question, or should I say proposition was if Sue would go for a drink with an audience member after the show. Sue was hilarious. She wasn’t rude, impertinent or disrespectful towards the audience member instead she turned it round into a good 10 minutes of stand up comedy which wound up about Tinder and involving another audience member.
The questions kept coming and Sue didn’t falter once. The detail, the animation, the passion she had with each question was heartfelt and honest. As an audience member I learnt about a programme she was in many years ago called Supersizers and even got told about a new documentary that she was embarking on. It felt really personal and open of Sue and there was a strong connection between us the audience and her,Sue Perkins.
Not only did we learn a lot about Sue’s family and what has effectively made her, her, Sue also learnt about us the audience. By the end it transpired that as an area we weren’t fond of Brighton (seafront rivals!), we applaud self reflection as if we were at a village cricket game and a player went out after scoring just a four despite playing her best, and we absolutely love vegetarianism (although the majority weren’t actually vegetarian!)!
The second half went by in a flash and before Sue knew it, her manager was on the side telling her time was up but not before Sue showed off her guitar and singing skills. Sue admitted she could only play three chords and had only learnt it for us and that we were to sing along with her because she is quite phobic about singing in public. We as an audience readily accepted the request and with Sue strumming the strings and the words on the projector we were off! The song? Well it was Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival. F admitted afterwards that he had only heard the name of the band through the Lily Allen song Him! The song wasn’t exactly the most joyous as these lyrics show:
I hope you got your things together
I hope you are quit prepared to die
Look’s like we’re in for nasty weather
One eye is taken for an eye
Once we reached this part Sue stopped playing and sang her own version in which we had to turn to our left and say I love you (bit awkward as it was a complete and utter stranger to my left but at least F said it to me) and then to say I love you to the right (Thank got it was F!). Sue even managed to make a joke about the whole Brexit situation and despite how each person voted, whether remain or stay we still love one another. What an end. We were all grinning like cheshire cats from ear to ear, humming the beat of Bad Moon Rising as Sue humbly bowed twice in front of us before the lights came back on.
It truly was a Spectacle, Sue, thank you!